The Secret of a Happy New Year
(Philippians 3: 10-14)
By: Mike Stokes
The Apostle Paul was a God centered man. Successful people like him are generally made, not born. He didn’t reach that point of success and maturity suddenly or by accident. From this text in Philippians we can pick out three words which characterized his life. I suggest the same three words will help us have a happy New Year:
1) Purpose (v10) “That I may know Him”
Whether he was mending nets, building tents, writing or preaching his all consuming controlling purpose was to know God. With all of his God given talents he focused on that purpose. Not just to know about God, but to know Him on an intimate and personal level. The picture given to us in the text is a runner with his eyes fixed on the finish line. So, with all the strength of his mind and body pulling together in one concerted drive to lay hold on his full potential for the glory of God. Not to have purpose in life, creates a vacuum that is filled with confusion and bad decisions.
2) Attitude (v8, 12-14)
Why is attitude so important? Because attitude determines action. There is oozing from these verses the heartbeat of this aggressive man of God. Obviously what motivated him was the future. How is it possible, in this chaotic world, to have an uplifting believing attitude? To look around, there is little optimism, but to look up, there is reason for hope and optimism. To have a happy New Year, fix your eyes on Him who is the source of hope and strength. Verse 13 tells us to forget some things: Past sins, failings, and past sorrows. In reality, it is not possible for us to forget completely. What he is saying is to, disregard, to neglect, to put it behind where it belongs.
3) Motivation (v14) “I press”
This suggest a course of action, to force or push forward. Moving on is not easy sometimes. The Christian life demands discipline and determination, without this one could loose the contest. So, for a happy New Year: Resolve to develop a purposeful life; Come to a believing attitude; With a heavenward motivation. God is aware of your concerns about the future. Remember, He is out ahead arranging and rearranging events in our lives. It is not for you to know the immediate circumstances, He does. He wants us to trust Him, and Him alone. Happy New Year.