2018-A New Year of Promise, A Year of Hope

Another year gone by.  A 2018 ahead as a year of promise, a year of hope.  Why do I say that?  Well, I prefer optimism to pessimism and I think it’s more biblical.  God emphasizes not fearing the future.  He reminds us He’s still God.

God’s focus is always on hope, faith, trust, and giving us ample reasons to believe God has good in store for us.

A while back, I was trying to earn money for a mission trip to South Africa with a group of nurses and doctors ministering to those who were HIV-positive and dying from AIDS.  One of the jobs I held temporarily to earn my way was doing telemarketing for a well-known charity before the negativity and rejection became too much for me. 

I discovered something profound though: discouragement is spiritual. 

It gets in your flesh. You can’t wash it off at the end of a day.  Nothing other than prayer and time in God’s Word could extinguish it…but even then, it lingered as an echo, a shadow, a placeholder, even a hook like Velcro waiting for a weak moment for discouragement to return and resume discouraging.  Spiritual things are like that.

For this reason, optimism and trusting in God go hand-in-hand, offering a better future.  God never sends a spirit of discouragement, depression, purposelessness, or futility.

As we conclude 2017, Americans (and others globally) can acknowledge that far too many of us have spent the year being negative, pessimistic, depressed, stressed, and discouraged people. 

Looking for bad news in our brothers instead of looking for what is good.  Going on witch-hunts, as if we were hoping to discover the worst in our fellow Christians!  And it’s no one’s fault but our own for partnering with evil and reaping the personal consequences in our own attitudes.

We have Scripture’s clear admonition to agree with each other in the Lord because it’s a genuine key to joy (Philippians 4:1-9).

As we look ahead to 2018, let’s consider it a year of promise, a year of hope.  Let us no longer succumb to a lack of faith, uncharitable actions and words, grieving the Holy Spirit by listening to our adversary’s lies and joining that work of the devil.  Instead may we find ourselves submitting to God, acknowledging that God’s plan is to bring good, perhaps in ways we cannot even fathom.  Yes, even good out of what man intends as harm (Genesis 50:20).

My New Year’s wish for you is a 2018 as a year of promise, a year of hope.  May your 2018 include seeing God’s actions in surprising ways, God’s faithfulness to you in every circumstance, an eternal perspective that melts the stresses and waters your faith, and a year in which you experience more of Jesus, day by day and become like Him.

Closing the year with something good and ringing in this year of promise, year of hope, here is my prayer for you:

Lord God, how wonderful to call you “Lord!” How marvelous to acknowledge all your faithfulness to us during the past year and the many years prior!  How awesome are your deeds and amazing is your sovereignty! How beautiful is your mercy!  How desperately we need your grace and forgiveness!  Your wisdom is so far beyond our understanding, Lord. Teach us to fear you daily and to honor you as Lord throughout 2018.

We ask, Lord, that you would be glorified this coming year.  May our submission to you testify to your goodness and may we display that beautiful virtue of humility.  Remind us daily of your love.  Keep us in safety and health according to your will.  Give us hearts of gratitude for your provision and spirits of contentment no matter our circumstances.  May we have enthusiasm and zeal for what is good and honorable in your sight.  May we grow in love for one another and have grace to show our fellow man.  Let us hate only what is evil and love fully what is good.  May we bring joy to your heart in our daily actions and receive joy in return to bless our days.  Let this be a year of promise, Lord, of witnessing many more of your promises kept, and a year of hope as hope in you never disappoints.  Strengthen us for the days ahead so that we might bring glory to you as we bring your Gospel of peace to a world in need.  We ask for your blessings upon our families and friends.  Most of all, we ask for you to be with us.  Thank you, Jesus, for all these good gifts.  Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 29, 2017

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