Happy New Year! There are two ways to look at every situation in 2019: How it will affect you, and how it will affect God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul was always concerned with how his circumstances might aid the spreading of the gospel. When he was unjustly imprisoned, he immediately looked to see how his imprisonment might provide salvation to others (Phil. 1:13; Acts 16:19-34). When he was assailed by an angry mob, he used the opportunity to preach the good news (Acts 22:1-21). When Paul’s criminal proceedings took him before the king, his thoughts were on exposing his faith with the king (Acts 26:1-32)! Even when Paul was shipwrecked on an island, he viewed it as as opportunity to accomplish God’s will. Regardless of his circumstance, Paul’s concern was how he could use his current situation to bring.
Often when we encounter a new situation, our first thoughts are not about God’s kingdom. When we face a crisis, we can become angry or fearful for our own well-being, rather than looking to see what God intends to do through our circumstances. God’s kingdom reveals God’s character. If we remain self-centered we will miss so much of what God could do through our experiences, both for us and for those around us.
Ask God to make you aware of how He could use your present circumstances to bless others. Perhaps someone around you needs to see the difference Christ’s presence makes in life. Are you willing for God to use your circumstances to demonstrate His saving power to those around you? Once we decide to make 2019 not about us, then the future direction and focus will start to become much clearer.