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You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming...
(2 Peter 3:11-12)
When Don Ingram went to Korea, he greeted the audience, saying, "I'm tickled to death to be here!" If you understand American idioms, you know exactly what he was saying. He wanted the audience to know that he was pleased that he could be with them, but the Korean interpreter didn't understand that idiom so he paused, then whispered, "What did you say?" Don smiled and repeated his opening words. Still baffled, the interpreter knew he had to say something so he began: "Ladies and gentlemen, I do not quite understand what our friend is saying, but he say literally he so happy to be here that he scratch and scratch until he die!"

That's pretty much the way it is with the week which lies sandwiched between Christmas and New Year's. We're glad it is here and breathe a sigh of relief that we can now stop the Christmas rush and let things begin to settle down, yet with the New Year on the horizon, we are quite certain that we won't get anything terribly worthwhile accomplished this week anyway.

I disagree! This week can be a terrific time in your life—a time for refreshment and perhaps some rest, and a time of reflection, looking back over the year, and setting some goals for the coming year.

A careful reading of the Old Testament reveals that it was God's purpose for people to have times for celebration, for reflection, and for cleansing. Feast days and celebrations were not wasted times but worthy times--times which allowed people to stop their normal activities to accomplish what could be done only with a break of pace.

One of our problems is that constant busyness leaves us with a weariness which penetrates our very bones. With no breaks and no times out for reflection, the weeks of a year begin to blend in a weary landscape like that which flashes by the windows of a train or a bus.

Looking back over the past year, I have to pause to thank God for the privilege of broadcasting for another year. This past year we crossed the 52nd year mark—something which I view with amazement. I also have to say, "Thank God for the stations which carry this program," and I also thank Him for you who write letters of encouragement. We're grateful for you who pray for us and financially support the ministry of Guidelines, which now reaches into many countries.

When I was a boy, crossing the threshold of another year used to frighten me a bit. I used to think, "I wonder what is going to happen to me this year!" Then I came to understand that changing the calendar does not change the faithfulness of God or His ability to meet my needs.

Whether it is another year, another day, or another page in the history of our lives, God's forgiveness wipes away the marks of yesterday's failure and His grace brings the promise of His help and strength for today.

None of us has any certain knowledge of what the year will produce, yet as God has met us in the past, we can be confident that He will meet us day by day as we walk, our hand in His.

As Annie Johnson Flint put it, "Hitherto the Lord hath helped us,/ Hitherto His Hand hath led,/ Hitherto His arm protected,/ Hitherto His bounty fed; Will His love desert us wholly/ Will His heart our need forget,/ Will His presence clean forsake us,/ Who has never failed us yet?"

No matter what the coming year holds, of one thing I am certain—God's faithfulness to His own will never, never be lacking. Of that, we can be sure.

Resource reading: 1 Peter 3:8-18

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Author Biography

Harold J. Sala
Web site: Guidelines International Ministries
Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963 and has served at its helm since its inception. Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages. He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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