Today’s devotional carries the same theme. The verse is Ecclesiastes 7:8: “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
The writer speaks about planning, including resolutions and decisions about the coming year. He says this (edited & personalized) to me:
Rarely will I know or foresee what will happen as a result of anything I attempt. I might begin it with great hope and in the end be sadly disappointed. I might begin it with much fear and find later that those fears are utterly groundless. It is rare that my expectations are fully carried out for I must learn again and again that I can “plan my way, but the Lord directs my steps.” I must also learn that my heart is filled with plans yet only the counsel of the Lord shall stand (Proverbs 19:21).These thoughts are helping me plan tentatively and with prayer. This includes the usual goals of eating healthier, exercising more, losing weight, but also goals like reading through the chronological Bible and learning new ways to worship Jesus, such as focusing on His ultimate glory as I exalt Him.
Yet because I am in the family of God and under His guidance, teaching and leading, whether my first expectations are accomplished or not, the end stamps wisdom and goodness upon all His dealings with me. God could take me the way of Job whose purposes were broken off and when he looked for good, evil came to him. Yet even after all those bitter things God seemed to place against him, eventually Job was blessed.
It is the same for every child of God, even for me. After all is said and done, I will be able to say, “Oh, how great is Your goodness which You have laid up for those who fear You” (Psalm 31:19) and boldly proclaim, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
For me, and for all who plan for this coming year, may God be in those plans, giving sound ideas, providing insight and energy, and totally directing every step.