The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13 the following words, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead."
What he is really saying about the past is this, "there is not much I can do about it. I can possibly learn some lessons from it but I can’t go back and make different choices."
This past year, if you are human, you have made decisions and have things that you wish you could change, but you can’t. One thing you can do is head into the new year with some goals, ambitions and resolutions to do things differently.
The Apostle Paul understood that as he looked to his future for better days. He was depending on God’s power to guide him; he could not do it on his own.
What will you do as you head into the new year? For some the answer is, "nothing any different." You are complacent with the life you are living. You don’t see a need to change or go any different direction with your life.
(By the way, it is your life and your choice, even though choices do have consequences).
For others, each year you have good intentions. You desire to do better, but try for a while and then give up; you don’t see much hope.
Then there are those of you who will be determined to see change. When the apostle uses the word "strain," it is a word that means he is going to use every muscle in his body to see success. Sure it is God’s power that can make the difference, but it is a power working through us.
In other words we still have to make a decision to change and be willing to do what God is asking us to do.
What change do you need to make this year? Some need to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, accepting his forgiveness, peace and eternal life, and allowing him to change the world through you. Some need to be a more committed Christian; you need to develop better habits that will aid in your spiritual growth such as church attendance, Bible reading and prayer. Some need to be better spouses, parents and children. Some may need to make decisions regarding your health.
Whatever your need is, God can and will help those who want to be helped.