Happy New Year!

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I love this photo that a family friend snapped during an outing at the Atlanta Zoo. When we approached the gorilla exhibit, all the other gorillas where happily playing with each other, except for this one grumpy gorilla sitting all alone with arms crossed and lip protruding.

For some of us, this sums up our outlook on life all too well. While all the other folks are busy enjoying life, some of us would rather eat sour grapes and be a grump. I mean come on! Look at the times we live in! Unemployment is high, health insurance is getting ever more expensive, for some retirement is out of reach, grocery prices are rising, gas prices are high — there are plenty of reasons to grump. But is there really?

Nothing annoys me more than folks who have a negative outlook on life. Just a quick browse on the Internet will give me my fill of negativity for a life time. The economists are crying doom for 2012 over the “what ifs”, the politicians are crying doom over the future of the country — must be another election year, and the average Joe is listening to all this and stressing out over what the new year may hold for him. Put all that worry and fear aside.

Chase the fear, the worry, and the grumps away with this awesome verse found in Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,  “Never will I leave you;  never will I forsake you.” The Bible is full of verses like these where God promises that He will take care of his own. As children of God we should be excited and thrilled at the great potential 2012 has in advancing the kingdom of God.

My word of encouragement to you, as we leave 2011 and head into the unknown journey that is 2012, is this — look back at 2011. Look back and count all the ways that God provided for you this past year. Look back and remember how He fulfilled the promise that He would never leave you nor forsake you. Hold fast to those blessings and look forward to 2012.