“You have not traveled this way before!” Joshua 3:4
How solemn is the reflection that each traveler to Zion is commencing a new and untrodden path! New events in his history will transpire:
- new scenes in the panorama of life will unfold,
- new phases of character will develop,
- new temptations will assail,
- new duties will devolve,
- new trials will be experienced,
- new sorrows will be felt,
- new friendships will be formed, and
- new mercies will be bestowed.
How truly may it be said of the pilgrim journeying through the wilderness to his eternal home, as he stands upon the threshold of this untried period of his existence, pondering the unknown and uncertain future:
“You have not traveled this way before!”
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you will enter upon a new stage of your journey by a renewed surrender of yourself to the Lord. You will make the cross the starting-point of a fresh setting-out in the Heavenly race. Oh, to begin the year with a broken heart for sin, beneath the cross of Immanuel and looking through that cross to the heart of a loving, forgiving Father!
Do not be anxious about the future–all that future God has provided for:
“All my times are in Your hands.” (Ps 31:15)
“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:7)
“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” (Ps 55:22)
Let it be a year of more spiritual advance:
“Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward.” (Ex 14:15)
- Forward in the path of duty;
- forward in the path of suffering;
- forward in the path of conflict;
- forward in the path of labor; and
- forward in the path to eternal rest and glory!
Soon will that rest be reached, and that glory appear! This new year may be the jubilee year of your soul–the year of your release. Oh spirit-stirring, ecstatic thought–this year I may be in Heaven!
Octavius Winslow (1808 – 1878) was a prominent 19th-century evangelical preacher in England and America. Known as “The Pilgrim’s Companion,” he was Baptist minister until 1870 when he was ordained an Anglican deacon and priest. He was a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon and J. C. Ryle and a prolific writer. His Christ-centered, richly devotional writings offer inspiration and encouragement.
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