Dec 31, 2017
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
As another year draws to a close, I would like to send my warmest greetings to our worldwide Seventh-day Adventist church family, and take a few moments to reflect on this unique moment in time—a time when we leave the old year behind and step into the new.
Certainly, we have all seen that life on this earth often brings a mixture of the good, and the not so good, of joy and of sorrow, of triumph, and sometimes, of tragedy. As those who love the Lord and follow Him, however, we have the wonderful promise of His continual presence through it all, as He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Furthermore, He has given us the blessed hope of His soon return and an eternity with Him filled only with joy and happiness (see Rev. 21:4).
Nevertheless, as the old year ends, it is healthy to reflect upon the good times, to remember lessons learned from the more difficult times, to clear up any misunderstandings with others, offering and receiving forgiveness freely, then setting the old year into the past as we move into the future. The Bible puts it this way:
“. . . I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12-14).
More good counsel on this point is found in Hebrews 12:1, 2:
“ . . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”