The ushering in of a new year always brings excitement and desires for prosperity and peace. Those are thoughts that require preparation and certain decisions to be made in order for them to become a reality. When those thoughts and plans materialize and are put into effect, they must correspond with the principles of God’s Word.
The greatest decision that any person can make is to place their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior. That decision brings spiritual prosperity and blessing for the present and all eternity. The individual, who has placed their faith in Christ as their Savior and has pursued knowing God through His Word, need not fear what is unknown in the coming year. It is for our benefit that God gives us a day at a time, not a whole week, or month or year. God’s promise given to the believer is stated by Solomon when he wrote …“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for his own ends — even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Prov 16:3-4 NIV).
Israel’s wise king gives a procedure for establishing plans and setting goals that should be noted. First, recognize that our best efforts are flawed because of our human frame. However, the Sovereign God whose knowledge is infinite and surpasses man’s imagination superintends over the affairs of nations and individuals. As the Great Shepherd over His sheep, Our Lord cares and provides every detail in life because of His unfailing love for those who trust Him. The Apostle Peter encouraged his readers that … “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV). Therefore the believer in Jesus Christ can claim the promise … “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Prov 16:9 NIV). The goodness of God oversees so that even in what may seem like a failure or mistake becomes that which results in that which is spiritually good for the Christian who loves His Lord. How precious becomes the promise … “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28 NIV).
A second consideration is given in Scripture when forming plans and setting goals … “Make plans by seeking advice” (Prov 20:18a NIV) for it is possible that … “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov 15:22 NIV).
Thirdly, be assured that no failure can take you out of the plan of God. No greater proof of that is seen in His dealing with Israel. Time and time again they failed in what God had purposed, to be His representative before the world as the one and only true God, the people through whom Messiah would come and go to the cross and bear the sins of mankind. At times they were faithful and enjoyed the prosperity and peace that comes with obedience to god’s Word. However, when under discipline for abandoning Him and following after false gods, the God of Israel, the pre-incarnate Christ reminded His chosen people … “This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:10-11 NIV). Therefore … “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov 3:5-6 NIV).