There’s a great big beautiful year stretching out before us. Did you make resolutions? I did. I enjoy the idea of a new opportunity to challenge and better myself. Of course we can begin new habits any time of the year, but we especially think of new beginnings at the New Year.
Not everyone views the future with anticipation though. In fact, worrying over the future can be one of our biggest joy-stealers. There is so much to fear about the unknown, for instance, what will the year bring us in triumphs and losses? Surely there will be much to celebrate about this year, babies will be born, marriages will begin, and there will be birthdays, anniversaries, graduations; it will be a year of fresh beginnings for many of us. But there is also the flip side of the coin, there will be losses this year, and sadness, and failings.
I don’t want to live my life afraid of the future, I want to embrace life in all its fullness and I can because I know the Lord goes before me and with me. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
What a great verse to start the New Year with! What can we do with our fears, insecurities and uncertainty? Give them to the Lord and take comfort in knowing that He goes before us into the future and will be with us, no matter what it holds. We are never alone.
Deuteronomy 31:8 quotes Moses speaking to an overwhelmed Joshua. Joshua had been chosen as Moses’ replacement, to lead the people of Israel into the promised land. What an amazing honor! What a terrifying responsibility! No wonder the Lord tells Joshua, through Moses, over and again in this passage, “do not be afraid”. He even tells him not to be terrified! (vs. 31:6) It would be natural for Joshua to feel overwhelmed by this great task that was handed him, but the Lord reassured him, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And we can take this message with us into our future as well. What do we have to fear when we know the Lord stands with us?
– DeVonna Allison