January/01/2016 09:26 Filed in: encouragement | forgiveness
Here we are once again. A new year, a time that we reevaluate priorities, and rejuvenate our desire for greatness! With each passing year of our life there are chapters, sections of the journey of life that define and refine our lives. Each chapter individually does not define us, but the sum of them do. A book is made up of chapters however, it is not defined by a single chapter. Chapters are incredible contributors to the story but the sum of the story is not defined by a single chapter. We all have a story. If we are asked to tell “our story” we share the trials and triumphs, we share seasons, chapters and markers of our life. Sure, one chapter may be more influential to the story, however, what makes a good story is that a page is turned, a chapter closes, and new chapter begins.
I encourage you to turn the page in your story. I have known too many people that have been defined by a single chapter in their life and the story ends in misery. They simply get locked into a season of life and never get out. Embark to the next page, it’s risky, But you will never know until you...well, turn the page.
I want to share with you a few thoughts that will help you embark on the next chapter:
1. Divorce Your Past:
It is time to divorce your past! You may have some incredible memories during that season, but the relationship with your past is killing you and hindering God's best in your life. In no way do I insinuate that we simply bury our memories,In fact we need to cherish our memories and embrace our history. However, our story does not end there, that is why we call it history. It is critical if we want to leave a legacy and provide a good story for others to tell, that we are not restrained by our memories. Memories are great for reflection and even motivation. They are a great place to visit but a terrible place to live, good or bad. Its time to sever the ties with yesterday: the failures, the success, the sin, the shame, the guilt, and all of the problems.
- Philippians 3:7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ ….13 Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
2. Trade Up:
Its not time for a tune up, its time for a trade up! Why are you driving around in that old, beat up, broken down life? Jesus has a better ride for you, so its time to trade up. He has already made all the arrangements and it doesn’t cost you anything, you just have to leave the old ride at the dealership. Simply trade the old for the new! I love the great exchange with Jesus. We bring him the ugly and he makes it beautiful. We bring all of the negativity, all of the sin, all of the shame, and Jesus transforms us. Our situation may not be pretty but there is a man walking with us who promised to never leave or forsake us. (Duet 31:6)
One of my favorite passages of scripture is Isaiah 61. Its such an incredible reality of what Jesus paid for.
- Isaiah 61:3 To provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
3. Embrace the New:
You may think that you have a reason or some sort of need to stay stuck in your past or in your pain. Your reasons for sadness, or feelings of hopelessness may be very real and difficult for others to understand. Can I tell you that Jesus has a plan and that plan is to remove your heart ache?! Jesus came to provide a new way. Its different from the way that we have known, full of life and abundance,(John 10:10) freshness and joy, peace and fulfillment.
Forget your reasons for misery! Jesus is a good king who is deeply in love with you. His thoughts towards you are good and his plan for your life is way better than you could ever imagine.
May this year bring you incredible hope and joy, and may you be filled with and overwhelmed by the fullness of God!
- II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
- Lamentations 3: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.