Ahhh, here we are. A New Year! Can you believe we have survived the past twelve months and are here to speak about it? I’ve seen mentions everywhere of things like a “fresh start”, what’s your plan?, and the dreaded have you made your “resolutions?”
What are your goals as the clock spins into January? I admit, I used to be so excited at the thought of a New Year. Resolutions, projections, and goals were at the forefront of my mind the minute I had put away my Christmas presents.In December 2014 things changed for me. I no longer am expected to project sales figures and set up marketing goals for my team. I was out of a job. Fired from a successful career that I had put my heart and soul into for almost 10 years. However, God, in is His infinite wisdom, led me to create a blog to share my testimony of faith and transformation. My Savior continues to bless me as He transforms my heart and my life.
In fact, through this incredible writing process, I have met some of the most the amazing, talented, and giving bloggers, and writers. Their willingness to share what they have learned from experience is refreshing. Their desire to help and encourage continues to inspire me.
Most importantly, there is one specific thing that has dramatically changed how I approach each year. I was introduced to the process of seeking a word from God every year by bloggers I consider friends or follow. I had never heard of this before and I was skeptical at first, so I began to pray. I had some ideas but, one morning last December, the Lord gave me a word…COMMIT? Commit? God, commit to what? I’m a single man. What or whom exactly am I committing to?
I wrote a post last January about my unexpected revelation and my desire to stay committed to God’s leading. It was one of my more popular posts of the year. Looking back, I understand God’s desire to bring my commitment to the forefront.
In March of last year, I was troubled and affected by the horrific headlines, news stories, and prayer requests I received, God instructed me to write a book on prayer. A what? Where do I begin? My heart was so heavy with the mass shootings and bombings. Maybe…just maybe I could write something to help, encourage, and remind Christians of the power we have in prayer. All hope is not lost when our hope is in Jesus Christ.
God continued to bring people alongside me to help, support, and encourage me throughout the book writing process. Some of whom I may never meet in person until I see them in Heaven one day. Despite serious health issues, distressing bouts of discouragement and doubt, one word always reverberated in my head, Commit.
I was getting anxious as my prayer book was set to launch in December and I had not started to pray about a new word from God. After the book launched, I was hopeful of hearing a word from God so I went to “our special place” to talk with Him. I bowed my head and began to pray. Before the last syllable from, “Dear Heavenly father” had left my mouth, I heard a word from God!
PATIENCE…. was the word I heard from God in the quietness of that moment. Patience? I raised my head and looked around. Patience God really? I bowed my head and thought to myself , let’s pray some more to be sure, and it was all about patience. I knew it was not a word I had chosen because I tend to have the patience of a roadrunner! I was like okay God, let me think about this one.
I then opened my bible to continue my devotions and much to my amazement, well I’ll let you read. Here are excerpts from some of the scriptures that just “happened” to be in my reading that day:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:7)
I chuckled to myself as I read those verses. I said with a smile, “Okay Lord, I hear You, my word from You is patience.” I shared the story with a Christian friend and we had a good laugh. I said this will be another Christmas miracle as the Lord teaches me patience. I have seen God work in my life in amazing ways, so I will trust Him in the New Year.
Unfortunately, there is sometimes a stigma with the word patience. We live in a society where waiting is looked down upon at times. We must always be on the go, go, go. I have some verses that I want to commit (there’s that word again;) to memory to help me exude patience this year. I know this will be a process for myself. I may not understand everything and I’m sure there will be moments, maybe even days of frustration, but I want to have patience.
Here are the scriptures I plan to and I hope you will carry them close to your heart in the New Year. These are true treasures from God’s word.
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they shall walk and not get weary. (Isaiah 40:31)
That was a verse I’d memorized years ago, but it had not transferred to my heart. As you approach your plans for this year, remember to wait on the Lord. Allow Him to strengthen you for the tasks that lie ahead. Welcome His renewing of your spirit as He infuses you with the courage to accomplish His will for your life.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
Some of these scriptures may be familiar to you and some may not, but I share them with you to imprint them in your heart as you journey through the New Year. Here is another one of my new favorite verses I discovered last year while researching my book.
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, devoted to prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
Poignant and powerful advice from the Apostle Paul. Easier said than done though. However, if we make this a practice each day, Jesus will work wonders in and through our lives. I want to leave you with a song of hope from the scriptures. A beautiful prayer of praise from King David.
I waited patiently for the Lord, and He head my cry. He brought me out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3)
Lord, thank You for giving me a word for this year. It was an unexpected word but I am trusting You. You are the Potter, and I am the clay. Mold me for Your glory. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
It is my sincere prayer for you as we begin a New Year, that you will seek God’s direction. Wait intently for His guidance while you seek to accomplish all that He desires for you in 2017! I would love to hear from you. Share with me in the comments…what is your word from God for the New Year?
Blessings to you and Yours,