I was trolling Facebook when I came across a simple white graphic with 4 words that captured my immediate attention:
1 Year. 365 Opportunities
I smiled and sat up just a little bit taller. My perspective shifted, and I felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders and flung into the pit of despair where it had originated.
You see, I’d canvased the year ahead, but all I’d noticed was urgent demands and unsolvable problems.
4 simple words flipped my mental switch.
Each day is a gift. Each day holds promise. Each day provides a new platform for God to show up in spectacular fashion.
Tomorrow, the sun will kiss my face with God’s favor. The warmth of His love will envelop me in a blanket of grace.
Every day is a fresh page for God and I to write something beautiful.
5 Opportunities to Pursue in the New Year:
- Live with Contentment: We can choose to rise above doubt and discouragement and reach forward in God’s strength.
- “ I have great joy in the Lord because now at last you have again expressed your concern for me. (Now I know you were concerned before but had no opportunity to do anything.) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you did well to share with me in my trouble” (Philippians 4:10-14, NIV).
- Love our neighbor: We can say no to selfish living and serve each other with love.
- “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13-14, NET).
- Encourage the weary: We can swim against the current of mediocrity and support like-minded friends who rise above the tide.
- “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10, NIV).
- Seek His Face: We can press in close to Christ and confess that we desperately need Him.
- “Then I confessed my sin; I no longer covered up my wrongdoing. I said, ‘I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord.’ And then you forgave my sins. Selah. For this reason every one of your faithful followers should pray to you while there is a window of opportunity. Certainly when the surging water rises, it will not reach them. You are my hiding place; You protect me from distress. You surround me with shouts of joy from those celebrating deliverance. Selah” (Psalm 32:5-7 NET)
- Share God’s message: We can speak the truth in love and pray for hard hearts to receive salvation.
- “Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out” (Colossians 4:2-6, MSG).
In Ephesians 5, Paul tells us to “make the most of every opportunity” in the last days. I love how the JB Phillips translation communicates the urgency of this challenge: “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of God.”
I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but I know who holds the future. I know the Author and Finisher of my Faith has promised to finish the work that He has started in me. I can press forward into 2017 seizing every moment for His glory because God’s plot lines always wrap up with spectacular endings. I am only looking at one page of my story right now, but the next page just might be my turning point.
Tomorrow holds 86,400 seconds. You might just blink and see God transform your obstacles into opportunities.
Something to think about…
I’m sharing “365 Opportunities” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.
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