2022 is a new year. A new chance to live a life that is bigger and more abundant than the year before. We can stay stuck in the past if we want. But it's much freer to move forward. 2021 is behind us. It's time to move on. We frequently look back at our past decisions and past mistakes. But God wants us to look ahead. He wants us to leverage our lives for something greater. His plans are bigger than we could ever imagine. To live out those plans, we need to move forward.
He has a future that is greater than anything you could ever know. But too often, we get stuck in the hurts of our past, and we're afraid to move on. We think we might get hurt or disappointed again. God wants you to live out the life that He has uniquely designed for you to live. As we step into a new year, we normally will make some kind of resolution. What if, instead of choosing a new resolution, we decide to live a different life? Not a life rooted in fear, but a life rooted in Jesus.
There's nothing wrong with looking back at the past to see God's faithfulness. But when we look back, longing for the comfort of the past, that's when we fall onto dangerous ground. The perfect example of this is found in Genesis 19. Abraham's relative Lot was living in a land called Sodom, a place filled with wickedness.
Two of God's angels told Lot that he needed to flee because God was going to destroy the city. They brought Lot and his family out of the city, and the angels warned them, "Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain," as stated in Genesis 19:17. But Lot's wife looked back. She looked back at her old life and the city she once lived in, which was now going up in flames.
The Bible doesn't say why she looked back. But I think she looked back for the same reason that we all do. She missed what was behind her. She had no idea where her new journey would take her. Perhaps she longed for the certainty that her old life brought her. Because of her disobedience, she became a pillar of salt, as stated in Genesis 19:26. We probably won't become a pillar of salt by looking at our past. But our lives won't amount to much if we live every day longing for a life that's already behind us.
This year, what if we choose to not look back? What if we trust God that He has our best interests in mind? Our lives would be so much more impactful and abundant if we did trust Him. The world may tell us to keep looking back and to stay in the security of the present. But God is telling us to step into the unknown future with Him. Let's make 2022 the year of new beginnings. A year where we step out into extravagant faith. Today, we'll look at three songs about stepping into the future with God at the helm.
Switchfoot, "New Year's Day"
Every year has challenges, and we all face hurt and pain in them. Unfortunately, some years weigh us down more so than others. The past two years have done just that. Both are challenging. Thankfully, we lived through them. We're here, we're alive, and we made it to 2022. I know that some of us might not be ready to step into this new year.
Maybe you feel like 2022 is going to be full of the same hurt and pain that the past two years have been filled with. Although we can't change the reality of our circumstances, we can change how we approach them. We can either sit in fear and uncertainty, or we can choose to step into 2022 with the confidence that we have a God who will be with us no matter what happens. I say we choose the latter. Yes, we have no idea what the future holds. But thankfully, we serve a God who does, and everything He does is for His glory and our good.
Everyone knows the popular rock band Switchfoot There's a line in their song "New Year's Day" that says, "we can't be the same old thing." As we step into 2022, I think that line should be our anthem. Like we talked about earlier, we can't stay stuck in the past and our old routines. It's time for something new. It's time to completely commit ourselves to Jesus. It's time to live our lives for bigger and better things.
Time is going by so fast, and when we come to the end, what will we say? What are we going to say we lived our lives for? I hope all of us say that we put Jesus at the forefront of everything we do. However, some of us are going to have a different story. Some of us are going to succumb to the gravity of life. But what if many of us choose to thrive for greater things?
We need to look different from the world. We need to be people who trust in God so much that we begin to live our lives in beautiful and extravagant ways. I'm not sure what that looks like for you, but I know it's different for all of us. Maybe that means getting involved in your local church or simply living the life that God has called you to.
As we journey on another trip around the sun, we can approach every circumstance with the attitude that Jesus is bigger than it. No matter what you face, you're not alone. This is the hope that we have, and this is how we can live abundant lives. We can't be the same old thing. It's time to move on.
"Euphoria's gone, it's time to move on/I have to believe we can change/When the notes come out wrong, stop singing along/We can't be the same old thing/It's New Year's Day."
Jordan Feliz, "Future"
I think the scariest thing about every new year is the unknown. We truly don't know what the future is going to hold. While that might seem alarming, I think we would be more anxious if we knew what the future held. If we knew what was around every corner, we would probably try to control it. And if we were in control, we would probably completely mess up our lives.
Thankfully, we have a loving God who gets the say over what happens in our lives. Everything is in His hands. He is good and trustworthy. We only see a fraction of what He's doing. He sees the whole story and the big picture. He knows the beginning from the end. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." God doesn't want us to be fearful of the future, He wants us to rest in the fact that He is going before us.
Contemporary artist Jordan Feliz's "Future" was written several years ago. To me, the lyrics feel so relevant for the time that we're living in. We don't know what 2022 will look like, but God does. There's a line in the song that says, "You go before me, You make it clear/You give me a hope and a future, a future/So why live in worry, why live in fear/When I know You're holding the future, the future."
Completely relying on God is easier said than done. But we see evidence of His faithfulness all around us. Every day, He sustains us. And He hasn't failed us once. Although we've all faced challenges and problems, God has gotten us through all of them. Never once has He left us. So, we can trust Him with our future.
I don't want to let fear of the future hold me back from actually stepping into it. So in the words of Jordan Feliz, "No matter what the future holds, I'm trusting in You." In the face of fear, in the face of uncertainty, let's start moving forward. No looking back.
"You go before me, You make it clear/You give me a hope and a future, a future/So why live in worry, why live in fear/When I know You're holding the future, the future."
David Dunn, "Starting Now"
We don't have to have our future figured out. I don't know what the future looks like, and you don't either. And maybe that's the best place we can start. Stepping into the unknown will teach you more about God than anything else can. He will show you His faithfulness. He will show you His goodness in both the good times and the bad times.
Our relationship with God is truly the most beautiful thing we will ever experience. And our relationship with Him is going to be what will carry us through life's toughest moments. But at times, we have doubts, and we start to question whether God can handle our pain. Can we trust Him with our future? While we may know in our head that the answer is always "yes," it can be hard to truly believe it in our hearts.
My favorite part of contemporary artist David Dunn's "Starting Now" is the bridge: "You're not scared away by honesty, and you can handle my uncertainty/So I will lay my questions at your feet/'Cause what you started in me/You are gonna complete." God is never going to walk away from you. He's completely trustworthy and can handle both your faith and your doubt. You don't have to have all the answers, and you don't even need to know exactly where you're going. You just need a heart that's willing to say, "God, wherever You want to take me, I will go."
We have a faithful God who will provide for us no matter where life takes us. Let's live abundant lives. Ones that point people to Jesus. Our message doesn't have to be complicated. People can see Jesus through the way we live our lives. Lives that are filled with compassion and joy. Lives that are willing to dare and dream. 2022 is the year that we can choose to move forward. Will you?
"How can I find the truth through the fog of these opinions?/How do I navigate through a sea of indecision?/All I know is I don't know/And maybe that's the best place I can start."
Grace Chaves has been a fan of all things Christian music since 2016. She is NRT's news editor, and one of NRT's youngest writers. Homeschooled, Grace is an author, loves Jesus, concerts, and road trips.
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