Another New Beginning

“I am doing a great work”
Nehemiah 6:3a

God loves new beginnings.  Every year many start with high hopes of new habits. New Year resolutions are made, and then usually within a month, something derails most of them.
It may be old habits that are not broken, it may be will power that failed us, it may be divine providence that we can’t perceive.  One thing for certain, God loves it when we move forward and not be stuck in some rut!

Philippians 3:12-14  “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
When Nehemiah found the city of Jerusalem in shambles, it was not the defeated past that he thought about, but the opportunity for a new beginning.  Building a wall to protect Jerusalem would be hard, it would take some time and he would face opposition, but he chose to pick up that first stone and start building!  

As the work of this new beginning became evident, others noticed.  Soon challenges were identified and overcome.  For everyone in Jerusalem, it was a new beginning that changed the course of history forever.

On the night Jesus died, Peter denied he even knew Jesus.  There must have been great confusion in his thinking.  He went hiding with the other disciples for days until he saw that Jesus was indeed alive and it was a new beginning for him and the Church. This new beginning changed history!  

When Paul understood that his fight to stop Christians from preaching was really against God, he too had a new beginning.  That turning point on the road to Damascus didn’t mean that life would now be smooth, even Paul and Peter disagreed with each other.  Opposition can come from anywhere.  Even within Christian families.  Clearly, building the Church required many new beginnings, and it still does even today.

Can you remember when you first trusted Christ for your salvation, your “new beginning”?  That was a personal and private moment.  It set you on a path that became more public than you may have first thought.  It set you on a path that will be filled with new beginnings.  Everyone faces hard days, days that may feel like failures.  Don’t focus on the broken past.  Let anything less than winning be understood as simply another opportunity for a new beginning.

Some people have quit making “New Year” resolutions, but it seems like having no resolutions is just another “rut” we want to stay out of.  Who should be proud of not making some progress somewhere? We need to have a new beginning often so that victories can be counted.  We start over with a new beginning every year, every month, every week, and every morning.  

I encourage you to have a new beginning again, now.  Start attacking that goal, make some progress, and then repeat! Like Nehemiah, what God has before you may be the victory in store for you.  Start again, “it is a great work” that God has called you to do.  Press on toward that goal, you are closer to your next victory now more than ever!
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