Happy New Year! Many people start off a new year thinking about resolutions and goals. I do that too. It’s important to know where you want to go and how you want to get there. But right now, let’s think for a few minutes about what we want to leave behind in 2016.
Remember the story of Joseph? He went through a terrible time. His brothers considered killing him, actually sold him, then he became a slave in a foreign country, and was put in prison after being falsely accused.
As my husband says, “Talk about a dysfunctional family!”
Fortunes reversed when his brothers had to come to Egypt for food during a famine. When he met them again, he forgave them. I’m not sure I would have been so kind. I’d like to think I would. See, Joseph didn’t let what had happened to him before dictate the rest of his life. He took control of it and, with God, made it beautiful.
Names were very important in Biblical times, especially the meanings behind them. Think about what Joseph named his first son.
Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” – Genesis 41:51
Joseph hadn’t wiped his memory clean of everything that had happened to him. He put it behind him and moved on. This allowed him to embrace the plans God had for him. Now let’s look at what Joseph named his second son.
And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” – Genesis 41:52
If anybody had a right to be upset about the way he was treated, it was Joseph. He was wronged by his family. He was treated as inferior. He was slandered. But this didn’t stop him.
If you have hurts – no, let me rephrase that. The hurts that you have, leave them in 2016. Leave behind any failures. The goals you didn’t meet and the ways you disappointed yourself or others. Learn from them, but don’t let them be what defines your future.
Look at David, Paul, and Moses. God doesn’t pick people with perfect pasts to fulfill great purposes. He chooses people reaching for great futures.
Define great for you in a way God would be pleased with.
Now go for it. Compared to He who is for you, what can stop you?
I pray for this to be a blessed year for you.
May the Lord bless and keep you,