The Secret to the Best Year Yet
“I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
“WOW, this is going to be the BEST. YEAR. EVAAARRR!!!,” says the optimist.
“Well, we’ll see. Don’t want to get my hopes up after 2017- that was a rubbish year. Brexit, Trump…let’s not get too excited for 2018,” says the pessimist.
A very HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you! I hope that you have had a great 2018 so far and perhaps some of you are feeling super excited for what’s ahead and all that this year will bring. Others of you might be feeling a little more cautious going into this year and would rather not get your hopes up too soon.
But this week, I would like to suggest another way of going into 2018.
In Philippians, Paul tells us that he has learnt the secret of being content- he has learnt the secret to happiness! People go to great lengths to find happiness in this life. We think that contentment is found “out there” somewhere:
“When I have those new clothes, when I have finished my exams, when I have lost weight, when I have a boyfriend, when I move to a new school, when the weather is better, when … (fill in your own blank).”
We can often mistake happiness for the circumstances and possessions we have around us- whether they are “not too hot, not too cold, but just right”, but we would be mistaken if we thought that’s what brought true contentment.
True contentment is not somewhere “out there”, it is not going to be found in the future of 2018 or even in the blessings that God so generously gives to us.
The truest contentment and chief joy we can have in this life is not found in the gifts, but the GIVER. Does God want us to have great friends? Of course. Does he want our families to be healthy and flourishing? Of course. Does he want us to succeed and do well at school? Of course He does.
But let’s never mistake the blessings of life for the One who gives them- the truest source of joy and contentment and the One who is unfailing in fulfilling our hearts desires.
The one and only place that we can have our desires and hopes fulfilled is ultimately in HIM. He knows that our hearts were made with a huge Abba Father shaped hole, and until we stop trying to stuff it with things that don’t really fit (good though they might be), we will never be truly content.
“Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23.
So the secret to the best 2018 is to let your heart be truly content in Jesus- He is able to meet ALL your needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). That means He has everything you could possibly ever need or want. This year is going to be great, no matter what goes well or what goes wrong, because you are FREE to be content in Him!