Another year is coming to an end and as we are all racing to the finish line of 2017, we are at the same time preparing to get on board 2018. I see this whole process like one embarking on a journey. I remember when myself and my wife owned a clothing store. We would travel to many other countries to buy items from manufacturers overseas, and come back to sell in the U.S. When we were about to travel, we tried to travel as light as possible because we knew very well that we would be coming back with a full load. In order to save as much space as possible to load purchased items, we reduced personal belongings that we normally would take with us. We would only travel with the clothes we were wearing and maybe medicine, vitamins, and books to read while traveling. Although we had two luggages and a carry-on, we would travel with those luggages practically empty. We knew we’d need toothpaste, but we didn’t bring it from home. We knew we would need pajamas, underwear and even cologne as well but our reasoning for not bringing these things was that we don’t need to travel with things we could easily purchase there. We never took anything heavy that would weigh us down. We always made the conscious choice to travel light. That is how I can describe your journey into 2018. You should deliberately take some things out of your luggage that causes weight or eats up valuable space. When you have a limit of no more than 50 lb per luggage to travel with, you definitely want to be careful of what you take along with you. So, in your journey to 2018 I have a suggested list of things you may want to consider not taking with you, or if you’re like my wife who likes to pack a week or two ahead of time, you may want to take some things out, for you will not need them in 2018; I guarantee it.
Drop the regrets.
All forms of disappointment should not travel with you.
The failures you suffered in 2017 should not go with you.
The defeats you suffered in 2017 can’t go with you.
All the broken dreams and unfulfilled agendas will only eat up your luggage space and add weight to it.
You definitely do not want to take un forgiveness with you.
You will not need any bitterness in the year you are going into.
Lastly, be very sure you do not take the resulting frustration from all these listed items with you.
There are however some essential necessities that you should NOT forget to take with you into the new year.
You need to take hope with you.
You need faith.
Make sure you take peace along with you.
Don’t forget patience along with his twin brother endurance.
Now you are ready to travel! You may be asking me, “why do I need to travel with these items?” The answer is simple. They will all come in handy and be useful when appropriately combined. They will make your journey smooth, successful, and without the stress that accompanies most trips of this nature. Let’s see how it works out. Please go with me to the book of James 1:2-4 which states, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Normally when you travel you run into both expected and unexpected situations like flight delays, cancellations due to weather, changes in the boarding gates. The requirement to go from one escalator to another to catch the shuttle, difficulty reading instructions and listening to the voice announcements, dealing with immigration and customs, and all this can be so frustrating, but this passage is telling us to count it all joy because faith will allow you to have a positive attitude, and since you have faith packed up already, you won’t have to worry, because faith will also produce patience in you i.e replenishing that which has already been used up in the course of your initial trip. The patience that is hereby produced in you will have to be put to work, for then it will bring about perfection and completion ensuring you have everything you need so you won’t forget or leave anything behind. When you look at the way all these (basic necessities) interact together to help you accomplish your mission, patience stands out on the list of travel companions. Like the American Express slogan says, “don’t leave home without it.” So, let me tell you a couple of ways patience will ease your journey and give you great success. Psalm 37:7 states, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” You see the need for patience in your journey? You will see people; traders and merchants, that are moving on a fast track. They don’t buy small, and they don’t buy cheap. They make you wonder if you are even in the same class, and many times you wonder how can this person have this much to spend? From their extravagance, you wonder if they even really work for the money they are lavishing. You will meet all these people in the place you’re traveling to. The advice given in scripture is, do not fret, which can mean do not be angry, worried, agitated, and envious. Now, the reason you are being warned ahead of the journey is because you will meet all different kinds of people and you will wonder why they are so successful, knowing fully well that something is not in right with them. Just walk your lane. Wait on God. Be patient. Do not envy. Your reward is certain and your reward will definitely come. This is another thing patience will help you to accomplish. Psalm 40:1 states, “I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.” Patience positions your prayer for direct response and helps to ease your struggle by assuring prompt solutions. As you travel you might get stuck, lose your wallet or your passport, somebody may snatch your luggage. Patience will help you wait on God for your assured answer and the solution to your plight. Galatians 6:9 states, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” The next thing it will do is assure you of a definite reward for your labor. Your calculations will always come positive and since you know you will definitely be rewarded for your labor, patience will give you the incentive to launch, the assurance that perseverance will always pay, and it will help strengthen your hope that it’s not going to be in vain. All this will add to making you the compassionate, empathetic, loving, caring, person you are called to be, and all this you will do without getting tired because the reward will follow you. To move in this level of patience (along with its twin brother endurance) a level of wisdom is needed. That will make the whole difference between you, that knows the source of wisdom, and the one that just schemes. James 1:5 points to exactly where to get that wisdom, and as long as we aren’t too ashamed to say we need it, it’s already ours by asking. The verse states “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 NKJV
I see you heading into 2018, and you can already see your reward as you press down on your journey. Lest I forget, there is one more thing, and you have it in your luggage anyway, if you do not put it to use, it can destroy all your efforts, all your labor, and the hard work that you’ve done all through the journey. When not put to use it will prevent solutions from coming your way when you need them, it will block people from showing you mercy or favor, It won’t even allow you to experience peace. You’re probably wondering what this can be, well, its forgiveness. It’s what you don’t get if you don’t give. So, you are set for you journey. This is your navigator into 2018 save it on your “waze” app. You will always come back smiling, overflowing with joy, experiencing abundant success, even more than you bargained for, and peace will be flowing like a river, throughout the year. Your assured testimony will not be delayed. Have a joy filled prosperous and successful 2018.