Every New Year brings two challenges—things we’re unable to change and those we can. There’s no guarantee in life that we won’t get cancer, lose our job, be involved in an automobile accident, or even be alive at the end of the year. We have no power over any of these things, but as believers we can rest in God’s sovereignty and care.
The other area of challenge in the coming year is the daily pressure of making the right decisions about the things we can change. Who we are and where we are today is largely the result of choices we’ve made in the past—some good, others not so good. Looking forward, the good news is that we can rely on God instead of ourselves for help in making the decisions we’ll face in 2018.
From God’s perspective there are only two types of choices—wise or foolish. Since the Lord is the only genuine source of all wisdom, our best approach for decision making is to seek His wisdom and insight rather than rely on our own understanding.
No one understands the importance of making wise decisions more than a king. Shortly after Solomon ascended to the throne in Israel, the Lord appeared to him in the night and said, “Ask what I shall give you.” (2 Chronicles 1:7, ESV). This was the most gracious and generous question an infinite God could ask a finite human.
Solomon was about twenty years old at that time. Most young men that age might have asked for fame, wealth, or power. But Solomon felt inadequate for the job of king, so he answered, “Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” (Preverbs 2:6, ESV).
Although Solomon was highly educated and had observed his father David’s reign, he was humble enough to realize that he didn’t have what it took to make the kind of wise decisions required of king, but he knew God did. Later in his life, in the book of Proverbs, he wrote this: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6, ESV).
As we anticipate the new year, we too may feel inadequate for the tasks which lie before us, but we can have confidence that God will give us what we need to live in His wisdom.