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9 ways to have a happy New Year

HOPE: The Bible contains many words of wisdom for those searching for happiness this year

NO ONE KNOWS what 2013 has in store but Soul Stirrings provides some Biblically based principles that will help you make this year a fulfilling and successful one and provide spiritual strength to overcome difficulties

1. KEEP THE GOLDEN RULE:
Jesus stated the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind…and the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38). Following this instruction will make you give God the love, respect and worship he is due, and treat others with grace, mercy and compassion.

2. RID YOURSELF OF GUILT:
When we feel guilty about sins we’ve committed or sins committed against us it can be debilitating and stop us moving positively forward in our lives. The antidote to guilt is confession because it provides liberation and the impetus to move forward. James 5:16 states: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

3. BE A GOD COPIER:
Throughout the scriptures we are encouraged to emulate God in our behaviour and attitude. Ephesians 5:1 goes as far as to state that we should ‘Be imitators of God.” And what does a life that imitates God looks like? It’s a life characterised by love, integrity and truth.

4. RECOGNISE OPPORTUNITIES:
No matter what our abilities, God’s given us what we need to succeed. How so? We all get given opportunities that if we seize them, we’ll experience the success we desire, so don’t miss them. Ecclesiastes 9:11 “The race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise, or wealth to the brilliant, or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”

5. CELEBRATE RIGTEOUSNESS:
Britain’s African and Caribbean community was once heralded for it’s God fearing ways. It still is, but current headlines are often filled with wrongdoing by community members. Proverbs 14:34 states: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” During 2013 let’s seek to highlight those individuals trying to live upright lives.

6. LEARN FROM EVERY EXPERIENCE:
We have little control over what happens in our lives, but we can control our attitude to what happens and allow God to turn what happens to us into something good. So if, during 2013 you experience difficulty and pain, remember Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

7. FILL YOUR HEART WITH FAITH:
Remember there is no unachievable goal if you have faith in God. So when you set out to achieve something, and feel your confidence wavering, experience setbacks or obstacles be inspired by Jesus’ words “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

8. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN:
The Bible states that “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” (Psalms 127:3). Let’s be mindful in all that we do because our children, (our blessings) are watching and copying us. Let’s ensure our behaviour and actions are in alignment with God’s word, so that we raise a righteous, and emotionally healthy generation.

9. ENJOY YOUR LIFE:
Despite the evil and heartache that exists, we live in a beautiful world where there is much good. So remember life is for living so enjoy the world, seek out new and interesting experiences, spend time with those you love and like and derive pleasure from the things of beauty that can be found in the world God has created.

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