(By Ruthann Dellandrea)
As we begin this new year, it can be exciting but can also be filled with unknowns and uncertainties, inevitable changes in our lives, and just plain hard seasons.
I’ve been reminded in Hebrews 13:8 that the one thing that will never change is our Jesus. He is the same yesterday as He is today, and He will be the same tomorrow. He is so reliable, so trustworthy, and so dependable.
It’s a new year, but isn’t it amazing that we have the same unchanging God?!
No matter what happens on our journey this year, whether it be failures or successes, highs or lows, victories or struggles, He is sovereign over it all. He uses all of it. He is in the center of each of our stories, in both the good chapters and the hard ones. No page in our story is ever wasted.
We may never understand why things happen, but our responsibility is to simply trust Him with everything we face and glorify Him in our circumstances. Even when He takes us on a journey we don’t expect, He wants our trust; He wants us believing His promise that all things work out for our good and His glory. Even in our tears and pain, He wants us to know that He is faithful and good. It can be so hard to go through, but it’s His way.
I don’t want to begin 2024 lightly, but with my eyes fixed solely on Him and filled with courage and confidence trusting God.
More surrendering to Him and less striving.
More faith and less fear.
More praying and less worrying — letting God have the weight of my worries.
More worship and less discouragement.
More honoring my God-given body and exercising it and less body shame.
A deeper trust in Him and less leaning on my own understanding.
He wants us to let go of what’s behind and press forward to what He’s planned for us this year. When we are willing to let go and let God work in us and through us, He will always stretch and grow us. He does this as a reminder to trust Him totally. We don’t see the big picture, but God sees it all — the end from the beginning.
In His wisdom, God’s seasons of stretching us, though sometimes painful, are always for our good. I have learned that embracing His stretching is key. He is doing some chiseling inside us so that we may live as a good reflection of Him.
Heavenly Father, as we look back on 2023, we are so grateful for Your loving care, Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace. Thank you for walking with us through every day of last year. Lord, as we look ahead to 2024, thank you for another year where we won’t walk alone and thank you for the honor of getting to know You more. Thank you for being the foundation of our hope and joy.
This year, like the last, will be a season filled with new experiences and growth to make us more like You. Father, thank you for encouraging us to pursue Your strength in our weakness as we approach this new year and prepare us all to receive what You have for us. Help us to trust You with all our hearts in 2024.
In Your Great Name. Amen