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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Hopeful Look At A New Year

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As is true with many people at the beginning of a new year, perhaps you also have spent some time contemplating the coming months or considering ways in which to improve some personal traits. Many people view a new year as a time to make a fresh start or resolve to become a better person in one aspect or another. However, it often seems that those hopeful expectations fade away after a few weeks, replaced by our generally hectic every day life.
Maybe you have also pondered what the future holds for you or your loved ones. So often the media shows only the dismal realities of life in this very troubled world and perhaps this creates a sense of uneasiness for you.

Whether you resolved to improve in some area of your own life or attempted to look optimistically ahead to the future, there is sound information in the Bible to help a person achieve a more peaceful, promising outlook on every day life, as well as to what is to come. While an array of the latest "self help" books may grab your attention, a person can be far better served by taking a look at the best advice manual every written! And you probably have that book in your home already!

Although some people regard the Holy Bible as being "outdated" when it comes to our modern day lives, that is hardly the case at all. While the scriptures do contain much historical data about God’s people in past generations, there is a wealth of valuable information dispersed throughout the Bible’s entirety that pertains to our day-to-day activities and provides clues about what the future holds. By taking some time to research its pages, a person can learn how to improve their interpersonal skills, as well as satisfy their curiosity about the time to come.

If you are a regular subscriber to this newsletter, you have probably noticed the "Proverb of the Month" portion. We felt this might be a helpful inclusion because so much of what is written in that book provides common sense "pearls of wisdom" about human behavior. It often shows both the good and bad side of a certain behavior, which can be used to assess how you might be reacting to situations in your own life.

Many of the letters that Paul, James, Peter and others wrote in the New Testament to the churches scattered around the regions of that day also hold a great deal of information about how to communicate with and treat others (Ephesians 4:25-32; Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Peter 3:8-16), how to control our tongues (James chapter 3), treat our spouses, parents, and children (1 Peter 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:1-4) and behave toward employers or employees (Ephesians 6:5-9). Jesus himself provided a simple--but extremely valuable--lesson in Luke 6:31. "And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise." These are but a few examples that you find if you spend even a few minutes a day with the Bible.

If you feel uncertain about the direction this world is headed, researching the scriptures can also provide comforting information about the time to come. While the state of the world won’t be better for awhile, the main focus of the scriptures provides details about Almighty God, Jehovah’s perfect kingdom (government) beyond what we experience in this present world. That kingdom will be an unending rule that knows no sorrow or death, filled with individuals who desire to serve Almighty God and His Son, Jesus Christ. If you are in need of some encouragement, read Revelation 21:4-5; Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 37:11; Isaiah 32:17-18, and Jeremiah 31:33-34.

If we are sincerely working to seek Jehovah’s righteous way of doing things and looking forward to the perfect kingdom, we have a guarantee from Jesus Christ that our basic needs will be taken care of. (Matthew 6:25-34) Jesus also said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Even though life in this world won’t always be easy or feel completely safe, the scriptures provide many clues on what to expect in the last days so we won’t be caught unprepared. The Current Events article following will also present you with some tips on ways to quiet your fears.

Take some time to investigate ways in which you can live a more content and peaceful life in the midst of a frantic, often depressing world. Learn about the kingdom to come and how to be a part of it. It makes good sense to resolve to do something that can make a difference for eternity! You can begin that process at any time with the simple step of opening your Bible and taking the time to really see what’s there. It’s free and easy to learn if you approach it with a willing attitude and a sincere desire to know!
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