Make a FRESH START WITH GOD
It is not too late to start your life afresh with God by your side
THE new year provides us with a valuable opportunity for spiritual renewal. Many of us have made numerous blunders and mistakes in the previous year and also experienced setbacks and failures. The great thing about walking with God is that there is always the opportunity to start anew. In the Bible, Lamentations 3:23 reminds us that God's mercies are new every morning, while 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that God promises a fresh start to anyone.
ANOTHER CHANCE TO RIGHT YOUR WRONGS
According to Pastor Andile Buswana of God Reigns, a ministry based in Cape Town, God is a God of new beginnings.
“This is evidenced by His divine characteristics displayed in His creation. God created the universe such that there would be days, months and years. Genesis 1:14 reads, ‘And God said let there be light-bearers in the expanse of the heaven to separate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years’,” says Pastor Andile.
He says no matter how distressed and devastating your life was last year, God will forgive, have mercy and avail His grace if you seek Him and repent from your sins.
“God has in essence given us ‘do-over’ cards. As we have sinned, made mistakes and choices that we regret, we can, through humble prayer, ask God for forgiveness and receive it through the atonement of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Isaiah 43:18 instructs us to forget about where we have been or what happened in the past,” he says.
NEVER TOO LATE TO START AFRESH
Pastor Julius Oluwajodu of House of Mercy Bible Church in Randburg says sometimes people wait for the perfect conditions before starting anew with God.
He adds that these perfect conditions rarely happen. And even if they do come, chances are people won’t take advantage of them anyway.
“There are no magical formulas, secret passwords or elaborate ceremonies for starting this new relationship. Many people mark the occasion with a humble prayer of faith to God. Prayer is just a reflection of what we believe and feel in our hearts and the words don’t need to be eloquent,” says Pastor Julius.
TIPS FOR MAKING A FRESH START
■ Look to God “Don’t rely on your own determined resolve to change and your own positive thinking. Connect with God in prayer daily and rely on the strength that He will give you to truly change for good,” advises Pastor Julius.
■ Be honest with yourself Pastor Julius says it is important to admit what pleasure you’re getting from your sinful habits. Confess it to God and ask Him to help you really desire to make a fresh start.
■ Identify pain Ask God to reveal the core reason you’re struggling with the sin that is making you get stuck in life.
■ Deal with pride “What dreams have you been hoping would come true, yet have remained stuck in your mind and haven’t become reality? As you think about them, consider your motivation for pursuing them. Can you recognise pride at work? Is it possible that some of your dreams are based on your desire to get people to notice and value you? Pray for the humility you need to surrender your own agenda and cooperate with God’s plans for your life,” says Pastor Julius.
■ Move on from guilt If guilt over wrong decisions is keeping you stuck, you can move on with God’s help. Confess your sins, mistakes and failures to God, repent from your sins, and accept the forgiveness that He offers you.