I’m not sure if you know this, but last Fall was an extremely trying and sometimes anxious time for me. From late October to mid-December, I made six trips to hospitals and doctor’s offices. There was even a visit to a Cancer Center for testing.
Having to wait two to three weeks for the results of a cancer screening is reason enough to have anxiety. But God. He continued to show Himself faithful throughout everything. By the end of December, I was able to attend a Christmas Dinner Party with old and dear friends, go to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church, then top everything off with Christmas Day with my family for the first time in three years!
Change in Plans
About five years ago, I learned of the practice of seeking a “word” from God each year. I was fascinated by the idea. Doing so seemed like an excellent way to focus on what God wants versus what you want.
Also, coming from a sales and marketing background of over twenty years, I’d grown tired of making plans and setting goals every year. I had no desire to return to that type of goal setting and planning after the stroke.
So, I decided to change course and began to seek out a “word” from God starting around Thanksgiving and praying He’ll reveal a word for me by the beginning of the New Year.
Word from God
The first year I received a word from God was 2016. This blog post was my most popular and most shared blog post for several years. The very first word from God was COMMIT. It was so much fun to write that post about no more New Year’s Resolutions. I believe the colossal diamond image had something to do with the most shared post. You can read that blog post here.
Here are a few of the words from God over the past several years.
2022: To Be Revealed
I’m not sure what happened in 2020 other than a pandemic broke out. For some reason, I cannot find my word of the year for 2020? Anyway, I must admit that this last year has been a challenge with the word PATIENCE.
Patience has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. However, looking back, there were times when I leaned into that word, and it helped get me through some trying times.
WAIT was a fascinating “word” for me in 2017. I remember being extremely anxious to write my next book. Finally, two months into 2018, the Lord gave me the book title of The Furnace of Affliction.
COURAGE was a fascinating “word” from God because it gave me a deeper understanding of the word. For example, when you choose to live courageously, that does not mean you won’t experience fear. Courage is moving forward in faith despite the fears that plague you.
How my Word from God came to Me
Earlier in this post, I mentioned that my word from God came to me earlier than usual. We all know that God’s timetable is not always aligned with ours. Can I get an “amen?” There have been times when I received His word late in December with that in mind. Sometimes it’s happened around Christmas, and even late in January on one occasion.
However, it was early in December when it came to my word from God for 2022. It was not too long after learning that I did not have cancer. The reason I remember this was because I was like, “Lord, really? After everything I’ve just gone through this Fall, now you want me to endure?” Yes, that is my word for 2022. ENDURANCE.
This word came to me as I read the book of Revelation of all places. In chapter 2, John is writing to the church at Ephesus. It is a reminder that God sees and knows all.
I know ALL the things that you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance… You have patiently suffered for Me without quitting. but I have this complaint against you. You don’t love Me or each other as you did at first! Look at how far you have fallen! Turn back to Me and do the works you did at first.
Revelation 2:2-5. (NLT)
So, What Now?
To say I was convicted is an understatement. These verses hit me like a ton of bricks. I read and re-read, and then I prayed to ask God for forgiveness and seek His wisdom and direction. Afterward, I immediately changed the things in my life that needed changing, and I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for 2022.
So, what now? After the spiritual revelation last month, the analytical side took a deeper dive into ENDURANCE. Look at what I found.
ENDURANCE: Staying power, courage, fortitude, perseverance, strength, patience. The ability to continue or last. Especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. Steady persistence in a course of action. Dignity. Poise. A purpose. Especially despite difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
Continuance in a state of grace. Don’t you love that? A state of grace. Wow!
After reading these definitions, I didn’t know how I felt at first. In fact, I admit that I’m still a little perplexed and concerned.
I know that living the Christian life was never intended to be easy, but I’m not sure I am looking forward to enduring anything except a much-needed haircut and a long relaxing massage. LOL.
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. For in just a little while the Coming One will come and not delay. And My righteous ones will live by faith. Hebrews 10:36-38. (NLT)
However, I can still have much HOPE. I have tremendous hope knowing I am not embarking on this New Year alone. Friends and family may come, and unfortunately, some go. But God is ALWAYS near. He is comforting, guiding, instructing, and inspiring me to do His will for my good and His glory.
It’s my prayer that sharing my word from God for the New Year has encouraged you to seek His guidance and direction in 2022. There is no one better to put your faith and trust in moving forward.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, lt us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up, and let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1-2. (NLT)
So, what do you think? Do you have a word for the New Year? If so, share in the comments below. I am always inspired and encouraged to learn of other people’s inspiration. What are your thoughts on my word?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Horace Williams Jr.