Psalm 23:5-6 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Are you and optimist or a pessimist? I think that as a believer in Christ, we must be more optimistic than pessimistic. When I face the coming year, I can worry over the future events that are yet to come, or I can rest assured that my future will be bright. When asked why I am so optimistic about the new year, and what I think the new year will bring, I can joyfully say that I think the new year will bring flowers, lots and lots of flowers, fresh garden vegetables, and homemade jelly! Oh yes, we must make lots of jelly. These are a few of my favorite things. How can I know that the new year will bring these things? Well, that’s simple. I’m going to plant flowers, lots of flowers. I’m going to plant and care for our garden, and I’m going to make the jelly. I know that these things will be a part of my coming year because I intend to do what is necessary to make these things happen. If you know me at all, you know that my thumb is as black as soot, but praise the Lord. He gives me great soil, water, and sunshine, and He gave me a husband with a very green thumb.
This past year was not one of my favorites. There were a lot of trials, losses, and difficulties, and it looks like this year has started off on the wrong foot as well. If I were pessimistic, I’d look at the coming year with a frown on my face and run the other way. But, because I know Christ, I can face the new year with optimism. C. H. Spurgeon once said, “Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainstream of joy.” We read this words and quickly think about the mainstream media. We tend to get caught up in the trials of life, the negativity that surrounds us, and circumstances that are beyond our control. These things try to steal our joy away. But those difficulties haven’t met our God yet! No! We can’t let the trials of life stand between a joy filled life with Christ. What then do we do? When we find ourselves discouraged or down, we must remember that we need to give our troubles to God. We simply need to share all of our concerns with Him, and He will provide the strength to not only endure the difficulty, but also to overcome it!
It really boils down to the fact that our attitude is a matter of choice. We began each day fresh and new, and we can face the day with fear, or we can face the day with faith. The first thing I do each morning when I wake up is pray. The next thing I do is grab a cup a coffee and dig into God’s Word. Afterwards, I can rest assured that no matter what I may have to face during the course of my day, I will not be facing it alone. Does this mean that I won’t have any bad days? Of course it does not. But it does mean that I can face each day full of hope and faith in Christ, and at the end of each day, no matter how bad things seem to have been, I can look up and thank the Lord for seeing me through every trial. My hope is in Him, and His unfailing love carries me through every single day.
I love Psalm 23 in any version, but I really like this New Living Translation. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. READ THAT AGAIN. My cup overflows with blessings. One of my favorite sayings that my family has heard hundreds of times is: “My cup is overflowing, and I’m drinking from the saucer.” With Christ, this is absolute truth. He bestows blessings upon me that I definitely do not deserve, and He gives me so many blessings that my cup literally overflows. The next part is even better than that. His goodness and unfailing love with surely pursue me all the days of my life. Y’all that is better than a big old slice of chocolate cake and hot cup of coffee! His goodness and unfailing love pursue me! Wow! Isn’t God amazing? And you can be sure that if he is pursuing this old redneck girl from Mississippi, He is pursuing you too!
Are you optimistic about the coming year? What do you think it will bring? I think it will bring lots and lots of flowers, but I know that it will bring hope, love, laughter, and life. And with that hope, love, laughter and life, we can plant seeds joyfully sharing the love and light of Christ to those we come into contact with every day. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future!
I’m going to leave you with the words to a familiar old hymn, I Know Who Holds My Hand: I don’t know about tomorrow. I just live from day to day. I don’t borrow from the sunshine, for the skies they turn to grey. And I don’t worry for the future, for I know what Jesus said. And today I’ll walk beside him, for he knows what lies ahead. Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand. I don’t know about tomorrow; it may bring me poverty. But the one who feeds the sparrow, is the one who stands by me. And the path that be my portion may be through the flame or flood;
but His presence goes before me, and I’m covered with His blood. Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.