“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11

AS I write this, it’s the last day of the year 2015. And as it is in the Philippines, everyone is a buzz with buying fireworks, making sure there is more than just enough food to go around when the clock strikes 12, and just contemplating on the year that was in the anticipation of the year that is to come.

As I scroll through my Facebook timeline, I can see how optimistic Filipinos are. My timeline is currently peppered with gratitude over the past year and optimism over what is to come. You got to hand it to Filipinos; we always find ways and reasons to smile despite going through the most difficult times. A New Year’s Day report released a few years ago said a large percentage of Filipinos are often excited about the New Year because it often signals new hope.

I have always been the most positive and optimistic person that I know. I have always looked forward to birthdays, new school calendars, and most especially, the New Year. There’s just something exciting about waking up on the first day of the year knowing that you have a fresh set of 365 days to do whatever it is that you have always wanted to do.

The year 2015 was a year of transition for me. At the beginning of this year, I have always believed that this will be a relatively stable year but it was far from it. Instead, it has been a year littered with challenges, changes, and most importantly, a lot of self-introspection. When I woke up today, all the energy I had left in me was used to give thanks to God for bringing me through this year and realizing that if He was able to get me through this year, the following years should not be a problem.

You see, no matter what date on the calendar is, we are truly only assured of one thing: God loves us and He is for us. Our circumstances may change, people may leave, promotions may not be given, and our hearts may be broken but at the end of the day, we have peace knowing that God is with us and He is for us. He is not out for our harm but for our good.

No matter what the challenge, no matter what he broken heart, we can trust that God can make all things work together for the good. And as we bring this hope into 2016, let’s believe that because we serve a good God, our best days are ahead of us rather than behind us.

Let’s bask in the newness of 2016 and believe that they are called beginnings for a reason. May your days be blessed with all you ask for and more; the best is yet to come.

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