Well, we have survived the first week of 2018! I hope the promises I suggested to strengthen and uplift you gave you a needed jump start to begin the New Year with a positive and encouraging outlook!
Lamentations 3:21-23 God’s mercies are new each morning and we can count on His faithfulness. Isaiah 40:28-31 God does not grow weary and we will be lifted up by Him. Deuteronomy 31:6 God will never leave us nor forsake us. Zephaniah 3:17 God saves, quiets us with His love and rejoices over us. Galatians 6:9-10 Keep on doing good and working to build up others especially our brothers and sisters in faith. Isaiah 41:10 God promises to strengthen, help and uphold us through Jesus. James 1:2-5 Be positive about life’s trials knowing He is transforming us into someone who is more and more like Jesus. Jeremiah 29:11 God has plans for our lives and they are good.
I will leave you with 2 more from Philippians today. Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” God’s plan of action:don’t worry, pray, thank Him = peace, protection for heart and mind. Add to these thoughts Philippians 4:19 “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” God promises that His resources are greater than any need we will have in 2018. What a glorious hope and provision we have in Jesus!
Cling to these verses as you walk forward this year. Claim their truths. What God promises, He delivers. God is ever faithful.
James 1:2-5 is one of my favorite passages because it is filled with hope. James wants us to realize that the things we face in our lives build and shape our character. Facing the trials of life with hope and faith creates steadfastness within us making us more and more like Jesus.
James 1:2-5 ” Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
How is this of any help as we begin a New Year? It helps us look at life’s events with positivity so that we are looking for the change in our own character brought about by exercising our faith in Jesus. God promises that placing our faith in Him will hone and sharpen us to where it will seem we are lacking nothing. He adds in verse 5 that if we find we are lacking wisdom, we only need to ask God and He will give us wisdom.
Are you facing a difficult trial right now? Consider it an opportunity for growth in faith and trust in Almighty God. Cling toJeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is good and has good things planned for you now and throughout eternity. We don’t know the future but we know for sure who holds our future. Commit to trusting Him today and you will see and feel the character of Jesus within you. Adopt an attitude of gratitude even in suffering because you know for sure that God has good things planned for you, He is good and He is in the process of making you more and more like Jesus!
Rejoicing in suffering takes purposeful thinking and faith,
This ancient promise was given to Isaiah, the prophet, to encourage the Israelites because they were facing deportation to Babylon for their sinfulness. God knew they would return renewed and strengthen after that time of disciplining.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
What encouragement do we get from this promise as we venture into a New Year? God promises that His presence with us will dispel our fears that may come from circumstances, people or things. God tells us not to be dismayed. I looked this up and being dismayed means having a break down in one’s courage by sudden danger, disheartened thoroughly, disillusioned, alarmed or bothered. That covers a lot of different circumstances that God does not want us to fear in this New Year. Fear does not come from God and He does not want us suffering because of it. God promises to strengthen and help us each day. He further commits to upholding us with His righteous right hand. In scripture this refers to Jesus who is now seated at the ‘right hand of the Father.’ (Acts 2:33) What a blessed promise to us that Jesus will be right there each day of this year upholding us.
As you begin this New Year, why not write this verse out and have it where you can see it each day? Let the truth of God’s promised provision sink into your heart. When God says, “I will”, He means it because God is truth (1 John 5:6) and does not lie. (Hebrews 6:18) What God says you can count on today and all the days this year. He won’t change His mind as God is immutable, unchanging. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Walking each day of this New Year with God’s assurance,
God desires that we be persistent in our walk with Him. It is the day by day living and walking in communion with Him that causes us to grow more like Jesus each day. Sometimes fighting and doing causes us to lose heart and become discouraged. 70 times in the Bible God said, “Do Not Fear” or “Do Not be discouraged.” Fear and discouragement do not come from God but from Satan. Our enemy, Satan, desires that we not grow and that we turn away from God.
Here is a promise to encourage you in your daily walk with Jesus.Galatians 6:9-10 from The Message translation: 9-10 “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” God knows we will get tired but He encourages us that all the pain and struggle will be worth it. There will be something- a good crop, brought about by our labors for Him. He encourages us to keep on working and holding onto the fact that He will produce good from our labors. God encourages us to work for the good of all but especially for those closest to us- other believers.
So be encouraged today to keep on keeping on with doing good. God knows our struggles and desires that we have a persistent attitude towards life and serving others. Today live each moment looking for who God wants you to bless by being the very presence of God to them. Reflect Jesus and do good for Him with a renewed attitude.
Renewing my attitude for good this third day of 2018.
What is your strategy for facing this New Year? How about starting this first week with a promise a day to get you going? Today our verse is Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. ” I love this verse as tells us plainly-HE SAVES, He rejoices over me, He will calm me with His love and He will sing over me!
What wonderful promises to encourage and keep us going when things get hard! Have you ever thought about God rejoicing and singing over you? What have you done for Him that He would be rejoicing about? God specifically tells us to proclaim the gospel, good news, about Jesus so others can know His love and redemption. He calls us to serve and love others in His name-having the motivating factor in that love coming from God. In John 14:23 “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Obedience also causes the Lord to rejoice.
What about calming you with His love? Has that ever happened to you? I like to think of this as calming my spirit as I struggle with a difficult situation, bringing peace in the midst of chaos, bringing hope when I’m discouraged. The Holy Spirit can touch us personally as He dwells within or He may send someone else with a word of encouragement or a kind deed. God promises in this verse that Jesus is with us and that He will save us. Jesus came to save- let Him save you. Accepting His love and redemption into our lives is a one time event but then He continues to live within us and save us to a greater extent with each day. The fancy word for this is sanctification, the growing and developing in Christ. Let Him work within you each day and mold and shape you into who He wants you to be.
Be encouraged this 2nd day of 2018, God SAVES, He will comfort you with His love and will rejoice over you with singing.
Can you believe another New Year is upon us? What do you need today for your new beginning? Here are a couple of passages that always inspire me when I begin something new.
Lamentations 3:21-23 “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” These verses reassure me that each day and year is a new beginning. We do not need to face yesterday’s troubles today without hope. He promises His mercies and love are unending with each new day. God is ever faithful.
Isaiah 40:28-31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” These verses show us God is in control and knows all things. He will give us the power and strength we need when we feel faint or weary. God will renew us and keep us walking forward with Him!
I pray that as you start 2018 you have Hope in your heart, assurance of God’s unending love and mercy and are comforted knowing He will be your strength and guide. Let the New Year begin remembering Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
As we draw to the end of 2017, let’s end this year victoriously. Taking a look at Chronicles 16:8-12 we see King David’s perspective and thanksgiving on bringing the ark of the covenant into their midst. He rejoiced in all God had done and trusted in what God would do in the future. Focus on the verbs David uses.
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given, (NLT)
We serve a mighty God. He deserves our thanks as we remember what He has done for us in 2017. Because of His love and mercy towards me this year, I am compelled to proclaim, tell, sing, rejoice, revere, remember and continue to seek Him. How about you? Is this your response to God’s care and provision in 2017?
Thank Him and Praise Him as you seek to end this year victoriously.