Welcome to 2021! This year is an especially good time to look ahead with fresh hope and new possibilities for the future. One lesson I think we can all learn from 2020 is the truth of this statement from the Apostle James: “Some of you say, ‘Today or tomorrow will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money.’ But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away.”(James 4:13-14)
So true! In the past year we have all had plans for the year disrupted by circumstances beyond our control! How do we plan for 2021 knowing that we really have no idea what other unexpected turn tomorrow could bring?
James offers us an alternative way of considering our future plans. He writes, “So you should say, ‘If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that.” This change in perspective in which you submit your plans to God’s will changes your outlook on life in some major ways!
First, you will become more adaptable. It can be easy to get angry and frustrated when life doesn’t work out the way you plan despite all your efforts...unless you can accept that YOUR expectations may not fit within God’s plans for you. If you can trust God and His plans for your life; it is easier to release the results you expected.
Second, you will discover new focus. Seeking God’s will causes you to put more thought into what you are living for. Instead of living only for your own pleasure, you will make more plans that are focused on making a positive and lasting difference in the world.
Finally, when you have learned to accept God’s will in changing circumstances, you will find that you are more free from anxiety about your life. You will instead be filled with joy, contentment, and love. You will be more free to make plans that encourage and empower the people around you to discover greater fulfillment in their lives as well!
So as we step into a new year, let’s make our plans, but let the Lord direct our days.