How to Start the New Year Happy

We have all been wishing each other Happy New Year for the past few days.

For the past two weeks, however, I have been doing something more than that. I have been making sure that I will start the 2020 New Year Happy.

I copied what God did after His time of recreating the earth as recorded in Genesis 1. At the end of that period of creation He stopped and looked back. “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Gen. 1:31)” He then rested satisfied and happy with His work.

That is why I scanned the Gratitude lines in my 2019 diary and noted all the things God had done in my life this past year.

Throughout the Bible God commands His people to remember what He has done—147 times in the Old Testament and 70 times in the New Testament. And not simply remember what God has done for us but tell others. “. . .  we will tell them to the next generation. We will not keep secret the glorious deeds of the Lord.” Psalm 78:3-4.

The Old Testament records for us that when God’s people stopped remembering and telling the God-stories, their descendants fell into sin, over and over again.

We live in chaotic times. It is difficult work to notice and then remember. We are overloaded with information and have no time to think. That is Satan’s work. God wants us to stop, think, and remember what He has done for us. I have found that keeping a diary is a great tool to help me think, reflect and remember. The Chinese sage was right, The weakest ink lasts longer than the most powerful memory.

When we stir up our memories and think through all the aspects of our lives it is amazing how many good things bubble up to the surface. I made myself a little checklist to help jog my memory. Here are some of the questions I ask myself:

Relationships: What good thing did God do in my relationships in marriage, family, friends, and acquaintances?
Physical: What did He help me to do in order to maintain my body healthy and fit, and my mind able to think clearly?
Spiritual: How have I grown in my relationship with God, in applying God’s Word to my life, in sharing my faith with others, in my prayers being answered?
Financial: What has He done to help me make wise decisions, how has He provided for me, how have I shared with others what He has given me?
Vocation: What has God led me to accomplish in the work He has given me to do?

As I noted the answers to these questions, my mind and mouth were filled with praise to God and my heart was satisfied and happy.

Just as God did, at the end of a period of creation, I looked back on all that He did and said, “It is very good!” and I started the New Year a Happy man.