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  • Ballynahinch Congregational

'...for ye have not passed this way before'

By Rev Victor Neill

As we soon leave 2020 and enter a New Year, we recognise that we ’have not passed this way before’ (Joshua 3:4b). Each succeeding year is different – who knows of the unexpected challenges, the difficulties and of course the blessings which may come our way in 2021?

This time last year we could not have anticipated the Covid-19 Pandemic with the changes, the challenges, the loneliness and heartache it would bring to so many. But more than ever it has been a time to keep trusting in the God who is never surprised or caught out by world events! Joshua was assured as the children of Israel embarked on a new chapter after 40 years in the wilderness, that they would not be left alone to navigate their way in the new land which they were about to enter ‘That ye may know the way by which ye must go' (Joshua 3 v4a). We can be confident that we shall not be left to navigate 2021 by ourselves!

It would be good to make Deuteronomy 10 v 12 our New Year’s resolution 'Fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul‘. To walk in God’s ways and to love and serve Him is of the utmost importance. And so, at the close of an old year and as we look forward to a New Year, it is vital to make the choice ‘to walk in all His ways‘.

The question may be asked ‘How can we be sure what is God’s way? You need to look to the One who declares unequivocally ‘I am the Way, the truth and the life’ (John 14 v 6) and come to a place in your life where you recognise that He is the only way to God, and that He is only One who can deliver you from all the things that mar your life and rob you of peace and the assurance of heaven. Those who have come to such a recognition and who take that step of faith and surrender their hearts and lives to the One who is ‘The Way to Life‘ shall be changed and will never be left to navigate life alone!

Therefore, we can be certain in whatever 2021 holds, that our Saviour will lead us in the ways of truth, righteousness, holiness and peace. Let me finish with two quotes as we enter 2021:

'New Year’s Day is a good day to fix one’s eyes on the only One who knows what the year is to hold‘ (Elisabeth Elliot)
'Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God‘ (Jim Elliot)

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