Did the holiday season leave you feeling refreshed and filled with joy as you head into the new year? Or are you disappointed at unmet expectations? Maybe you are still waiting on the Lord to answer a prayer that has been long in the coming. No matter what the past year brought, there is always hope for the new year. I love how the start of a new year can bring new possibilities, fresh beginnings, and with those, a revival of your soul.
Hope for the New Year
Some of us make new goals for the year or start resolutions afresh. And others start the year just hoping for something better. Regardless of the state of your heart, with the Lord, there is always a chance for a fresh start and rekindled hope for the new year.
A former pastor of mine always woke up on New Year’s Day reminding himself, “I know this year will be filled with many surprises (both good and bad), but none of them will surprise the Lord.” God goes before us and is omniscient. He knows what the new year will bring. We can trust His goodness, even in times of darkness.
Hope When All Is Right in Your Life
If you find yourself filled to overflowing with God’s goodness, and all feels right in your life, praise Him!
“Be glad in the LORD and rejoice you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11
“Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
Start your year by rejoicing in the Lord. Praise Him for His goodness to you. Tell of His wondrous deeds. Sing to Him a new song. As you recount the blessings in your life, thank Him for the hope you have because of Him.
Hope When Darkness Surrounds You
If you find yourself weary from disappointment or walking in darkness, praise be to God that there is still hope!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:24
“The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:24
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word, I hope.” Psalm 130:5
Start your year resting in Him, allowing Him to fill you with joy and peace. As you wait for Him to move in your life, hold fast to the hope you have in Him. For it is often in difficult seasons that we draw closer to the Lord, clinging to Him in desperation.
Don’t see your difficulty as evidence that God has forsaken you. Know that God is at work in and through you, even if you don’t currently see it. Remember that through your trial, God builds character in you and molds you into the person He wants you to be.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4
None of your trials are wasted. There is a purpose in each of them. Yet, unmet expectations and waiting on the Lord are hard. Take heart. Focus on the truth of His Word. Your heart can be filled with hope no matter what. A hope not found in different circumstances, but in Christ alone. For He is the anchor of your soul.
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
A New Resolution for Hope
As you start this year, may you be filled with the hope of Jesus. May the joy of His birth carry you into the year ahead. And may you resolve to find hope for the new year in Him no matter your circumstances. He goes with you. He is your wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Take some time to revel in who He is. Let Him revive your soul.
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