Hope Up Ahead

Happy New Year everyone! I believe it’s no accident that today’s scheduled post is for the very first day of the New Year. It is not only a new day and the beginning of another week, and another month. Today marks a new beginning, a new chapter, and a brand new year. 

All of our activity, hopes and dreams for last year is at an end. That chapter in our lives is complete, and we must move on. For some of us this is great news, because the year was filled with things that we would just as soon forget. But for others, the year was filled with monumental and joyous events that leave sweet memories lingering. And unfortunately, the same year has left many reeling with pain and grief. But no matter what state you are in, dear friends, there is hope available for you today, and a new hope set before you this year.

You may not feel hopeful at the prospect of starting another year. And that’s ok. Hope isn’t just a feeling, it is a gift from your Father in Heaven, the One who loves you, and has you on His mind. Take a moment to meditate on this verse in Jeremiah…

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  ~ Jeremiah 29:11(AMP)

I don’t know about you, but when I consider all I want to accomplish in this new year, it is a bit overwhelming! I get that it’s good to make our plans, but isn’t it better to know there’s already a plan laid out for us by our Heavenly Father? That changes everything for me. Instead of approaching this year as a project with a list of things to do, I approach it as an adventure to discover what God has for me. I love that He is thinking of me, and has good plans, to give me a future and to give me hope. That’s exactly what I need, because I used up every drop of energy and hope I had, just to get through last year. 

Friends, we have been given a gift to unwrap today. This gift is given to us by The One who daily bears our burdens, who is faithful to us, and worthy of our trust. His gift to us is hope. We can have hope for today and this year because we have confidence, knowing He has good plans for us. Let’s rest in that hope, and approach this year with the spirit of adventure as we follow where He leads us each day. Maybe even keeping an “adventure journal” would be fun, jotting down the places He takes us as we seek to let His Spirit interrupt our schedules and lead us down new paths. 

I want to leave you with this declaration. By declaring The Heavenly Father’s words to ourselves, it has the power to accomplish that which it is set out to do. Let’s not just read through this quietly, agreeing on the inside. How badly do you need hope today? I am desperate for every ounce of hope He has for me, that’s why I speak it out loud to myself, to my Father God, and to anyone or anything else that is listening. 

He is our hope!

I invite you to join me by repeating this declaration from Romans 15:13 out loud, with varying degrees of speed and volume, until you get a sense of completion. 

A Declaration of Hope

God of hope, fill ME with all joy and peace in believing, so that I will abound in hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit.    

(A personalized declaration from Romans 15:13)