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HOPE for the NEW YEAR: Part 1

For me, 2022 hit like a sucker punch to the gut. By Jan 3rd, my husband, daughter and I all had COVID.  Three weeks later I found myself sitting beside my daughter’s hospital bed praying that she would recover from a COVID induced delirium. Few things are as terrifying a seeing your child incoherent and delusional, lying a hospital bed.  

This is NOT how I would have chosen to start 2022. Like it or not, this is how it started. Now I have two choices. I can decide that 2022 will be a crappy year and lose myself to fear and depression. OR I can place my hope in the Lord and believe His promises.

I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord. Plans for good, not to harm you, plans for hope and a future of HOPE (Jer 29:11) All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28) 

These are my go-to verses when the poop hits the fan. They have carried me through some of the darkest, most heartbreaking seasons of life. They anchor me to a steadfast hope. God has demonstrated over and over again that in EVERY circumstance, He can be fully trusted to work on our behalf!

Yet, as I watched my precious daughter slip into delirium, my hold on this anchor of hope became as tenuous and fragile as the tether my daughter had on reality. Both began to unravel. I watched her mental faculties deteriorate and I felt utterly helpless and hopeless.  When I left my terrified, delusional daughter at the hospital alone, my heart broke. In utter desperation, I cried out to God. Then I came across Daniel 10:19

“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”  

The angel of the Lord spoke these words to Daniel after he saw a vision of a mighty warrior coming against Israel. This vision caused overwhelming fear and anxiety in Daniel. “Yet no strength was left in me, for my normal appearance turned to a deathly pale, and I grew faint and weak with fright” (Dan 10:8). I could TOTALLY relate! I was overwhelmed, anxious, and filled with fear.

I clung desperately to Daniel 10:19. As I repeated it over and over, it reminded me WHY God has good plans for us and why He causes EVERYTHING to work for our good.  It is because we are precious to Him! His love is limitless and extravagant. He defines, embodies, and expresses love perfectly. Amazingly, inexplicably, undeservedly, WE are the objects of His extravagant love! Because we are precious to Him, He has good plans for our future. He is so serious about these plans that He will cause all things to work for their fulfillment. 

Our lives matter to God!  What comfort and HOPE this brings! No matter what happens in this coming year, we can anchor ourselves in this hope! God is ALWAYS faithful! There is no shadow of turning in Him. His word does not fail or come back empty but accomplishes that for which He sent it (Is 55:11). He has GOOD plans for our future, and He will ensure that those plans are fulfilled. Grasp that HOPE with all your might and NEVER let go! Find peace! Be encouraged! Renew your strength! We are precious to Him, therefore we have hope in this new year!

THE PROMISE OF A NEW YEAR

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For as many as the promises of God are, in Christ they are all answered with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ our “Amen” ascends to God for His glory.”

The end of 2020 is something we have ALL been looking forward to with great anticipation. With all its chaos, stress and difficulty, 2020 couldn’t end soon enough. Yet with each new challenge, it seemed like 2020 would NEVER end.  Well, 2021 is FINALLY here! The promise of a new year is always exciting.  The possibilities a new year holds, makes the change in the calendar cause for celebration and hope. Coming out of the year we have had; the possibility of hope seems that much more exciting and vital.

Yet despite the change in the calendar, little else has actually changed.  We are still dealing with COVID and all its myriad of physical, social and financial issues. Though last year’s tragedies have highlighted racial issues, we have yet to send the demon of racism back to the pit of hell from whence it came. We are still dealing with added stress in work, finances, marriage, family life and relationships in general and yet…

 We cannot afford to abandon the promise of a new year! 

Each new year holds promise because time itself is a gift from God.  He gives us each year, and every year he gives us, is a year filled with the potential of what He can and WILL do in our lives. The hope of that potential is something we need to embrace ESPECIALLY after the year we have had.

One of the ways we can embrace this potential is to remind ourselves of the promises God has made to us. So, what are some of God’s promises to us?

  • God promises His presence. He promises that whatever we face, He will be with us. He will never under any circumstances desert us or leave us defenseless. As we walk through this coming year, we can be assured that He will be beside us guiding and protecting, comforting and consoling us. No matter what, He WILL bring us though.

Psalm 23:4

Heb. 13:5-6

Psalm 55: 22:

Isaiah 41:10-13

Isaiah 43: 1,2

Psalm 46:1-3

Psalm 18:2

Psalm 55:22

Psalm 9:9

  • God promises to bring GOOD out of every situation we face, even the worst. Whatever crap life throws at us, God will use it to grow a garden of beauty and repose in our lives. He desires to give us a life of abundance, regardless of the situations around us.

Rom 8:28

Jer. 29:11

John 10:10

2 Thes. 2:16-17

Deut 30:9, 19-20

1 Kings 8:56

Psalm 23:2-3, 5

  • God promises to care for us. He will provide for us always. He promises to ease our burden and bring us a peace that transcends circumstance.

1 Peter 5:6,7

Matt 6:25,26

Phil 4:6

Matt 11:28-30

John 14:27

Isaiah 57:19

Psalm 85:8

Phil 4:7

Psalm 128:

  • God KEEPS His promises

Num 23:19

2 Peter 3:9

2 Cor. 1:20

This coming year is overflowing with potential because God gave it to us and He is with us!  If God is for us, who or what can stand against us? NOTHING!! So, embrace the promise of the new year. It’s real! We have His word on it!