“…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I
press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

Every year at this time a lot of people make many promises. Some of the New Year\’s Resolutions I have heard (or made) are:

“I am going to pray an hour each day.”
“I intend to read the entire Bible!”
“I will lose thirty pounds!”
“I promise to be nice to everyone I meet.”

By the end of January, the list looks more like this:
“I am going to pray when I can.”
“I intend to read the New Testament or at least the Gospel of John.”
“Each day, I\’m going to eat a little less.”

And last, but not least, “I will not snap the head off of everyone I meet!”

We start the year off with great expectancy, but many times our hopes
are dashed by the trials and events of life. But even if the events of
this world assault our senses and threaten our safety, we still have
hope in the Lord. The Bible says in Romans 5:1-2: “Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we
stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

A slew of books and articles are written at the beginning of each year
about getting organized and simplifying your life. I taught a Sunday
School lesson entitled “Living with Eternity in Mind.” What a great
thought! It occurred to me there would be no better way to simplify
life than to question our worries and obligations with, “Will this
matter for eternity?”

I thank God we have hope in the midst of trials. God has not only
provided for our salvation through Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit is
in our midst to comfort us and give us peace. What kind of life would
we have if we had no hope? If we live with eternity and expectation in
mind, I believe we have a more positive outlook every day of our lives.
We won\’t spend our lives looking back with regret, but will, as Paul
told the Philippians, look ahead toward our goal. We have hope.

As we begin a new year, this verse is my prayer for all who read this:
Romans 15:13- “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy
Ghost.”

Let\’s live each day to its fullest, and endeavor to make every day count for eternity.

Prayer: God, I thank You for each day you grant to me. Help
me to be diligent in using each day for Your glory. Thank You for the
hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus. In His Name I pray, Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).