New Year. The word itself invokes a variety of emotions-relief, anxiety, excitement, and hope. What are you feeling as you embark on another New Year? One word that immediately jumps to mind for myself is gratitude.
I have my Savior to thank for bringing through another year. There have been numerous highs and lows throughout the past 12 months. Some of the highs were beyond belief, and the lows had me experiencing pain I’d hadn’t felt since my stroke almost 8 years ago.
Through it all I have so much to be thankful for. God continues to enlighten my mind about the truths in His word. He is growing me up daily as I seek to glorify Him with my life. So, since He has blessed me with the opportunity to begin a New Year, my heart is overflowing with thankfulness and hope.
Hope springs eternal.
One verse that I have committed to memory since my mother quoted it to me in the hospital is Jeremiah 29:11. It reads, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope.
What an uplifting promise from our Lord and Savior! However, I have discovered there is so much more to this passage. Read with me below.
Then you will call upon Me and come to pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with your whole heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord… (Jeremiah 29:12-14)
So, as the hustle and bustle of the holidays is winding down, have you sought God with all your heart? As you begin to look forward to the months that lie ahead, have you asked God what His plans are for you in the New Year? His promise is clear. Seek Him and He will listen. Do you trust His promises? Do you desire His blessings this year? I want to share why it is imperative to seek wisdom from God as you embark on a New Year. Here are 5 benefits of seeking God as you begin a New Year.
This may seem obvious for most, but I know for myself it is easy to get drawn in and distracted by all the offers that run rampant in the New Year. It seems like everyone has a new idea or system that will “transform your life,” “make things easier,” or offer you a “fresh start.”
I’ve been overwhelmed at times from all the offers of hope-that I wanted to disconnect my email address!
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Once you have clear direction from God, it is much easier to formulate your plans going forward. I’m sure there are fantastic and productive opportunities out there right now, but if they are not in alignment with God’s plan…you will struggle.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
God’s desire is for you to come to Him and seek the wisdom that He freely offers. (James 1:5) When He sees your desire to do HIS will, God opens doors. Doors that you may not have been aware that needed opening. Opportunities will present themselves at your front door-an opportunity that ONLY God could have provided.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. (Proverbs 3:13)
God’s intervention in His plan for you brings you joy! This bring me to benefit number 3.
Once you have sought God’s plan-He begins to reveal things to you. This gives you confidence as you embark on a New Year. You are committed to seeing things through accompanied by the plans of God’s divine blueprint.
He has the power to remove obstacles, shatter the glass ceiling, and eradicate doubt. You move forward with determined courage knowing that He will empower you to accomplish His will.
My dear friend, Lori Schumaker, left me a message around this time last year after my book on the power of prayer was published. I was battling debilitating health issues and was frustrated not being able to promote my new book the way I had planned.
She stated that she knew I would be a target for Satan the moment I published a book reminding Christians of the power we have in prayer.
She encouraged me to arm myself daily in the Armor of God in preparation for the attacks of the enemy. Armed with the Shield of Faith, nothing can prevent you from the victory that God will provide. You press forward with confidence in your Almighty Leader.
Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. (Proverbs 3:25-26)
Seeking God’s plan must be an ongoing practice if you expect to have success this year. This requires the daily discipline of spending consistent time in God’s word-meditating on what He is showing you from scripture.
The enemy does not want to make things a little uncomfortable- He wants to destroy you! He has a plan tailor-made to bring you down.
His flaming arrows of doubt, discouragement, and fear are headed in your direction. However, you have to commit to fighting the battle on your knees in prayer as you arm yourself with the Sword of the Spirit.
Check out the powerful passage of scripture below that I have committed to memory.
Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time. Casting all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, knowing that your adversary. the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.
But resist Him firm in your faith knowing that the same experiences of affliction are being overcome by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself, perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:6-10)
Do you see why discipline is a necessary benefit of seeking God’s will for the New Year and beyond? Do you desire confirmation from God, and His strength to press forward this year? Discipline yourself to spend time with Him daily. You have the victory in Jesus!
Okay, you have sought God’s direction. He has intervened in showing you His plan. You have disciplined yourself to spend time with Him preparing for the battles that you will face. Now He will infuse you with discernment as you hear from Him.
He may not give you the entire scope of everything He has planned for you. God wants you to seek Him in faith trusting Him completely.
We may not always understand everything. but when our trust in Christ is complete-you cannot fail.
God wants what is best for you this year.(Romans 8:28) Make it a priority to seek His will and plan for your life as you begin a New Year.
I have sought God’s plan-He has given me a word for this year. I shared the word with my best friend a couple weeks ago. We joked about it as I stated, “God, can I get a word like Hope or Joy?” Nothing but crickets…
The word God has given me this year is PERSEVERE. At first, I was like yikes! What will I have to persevere through? As I stated earlier, the Christian life is a battle. God wants me to never give up-not to be discouraged as He implements the plan he has for me.
So I have chosen to embrace my word from God this year. He continues to show Himself faithful. Persevere: to persist in anything undertaken. Maintain a purpose despite difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.
Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer. (Romans 12:12)
What a simple yet powerful verse that you can commit to memory. Remember this verse as you begin your journey this year. Choose to make God’s plan a priority over your desires, goals, and dreams. Align your heart with Him and you will be unstoppable in the New Year!
Horace Williams Jr.
By the way, has God given you a word for this year? If so, share with me in the comments. I’d love to encourage and pray for you as you seek to live for Him.