The new year has begun. What a year it has already been. Conflict in the capitol and a resurgence of Covid infections that have shut down entire cities and even nations. 2021 is beginning to look a like a continuation of 2020. We can hope that this new year will be more peaceful, but even if unrest and angst continue to be our daily companion this year, we can still be assured that God has not forsaken us. (Matthew 28:20)
As I spent time to reflect on the past year, even in the midst of the most difficult days, I know Gods love and blessing has been woven into our lives. His presence and his word remind us to “consider it a sheer gift when tests and challenges come at us from all sides, knowing that under pressure, our faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. James 1:2-3 Message
A young king of Israel modeled this assurance in the midst of trails of many kinds. He penned the following words of hope even while hiding from a mad king who was determined to put an end to his life.
“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.”
Recently a friend of mine admonished me to make 3 commitments for the new year. I would like to paraphrase each of them for you and encourage you to adopt these commitments during the days that are ahead.
The three renewed commitments are to Prayer, Family and for greater Understanding.
- I will dedicate more time in prayer than ever before! My goal is zero prayer-less days in 2021.
- I will ask the Lord to focus my prayer so that when answers come, they will generate praise that God deserves.
- My petitions to the Lord will increase this year.
- I will pray less about my issues and more from the revelation and direction that is born in my spirit from God.
- I will seek the Lord regarding the small, everyday life needs as well as the large.
- Each of my family members will receive more of my focused attention and encouragement.
- I will seek to champion each member of my family this year in a way that they know God is with them and I am for them!
- As trials arise, I will consider these a call to prayer for them. I will take these opportunities to speak words of Truth over their lives.
- I will endeavor to model God’s compassion and grace in all of my actions and words.
- I will look for God’s word to be the source for understanding in every trial and every victory.
- I will seek Heaven’s perspective, the understanding that separates the trivial from the breathtaking; choosing to live by faith rather than comfort and ease.
- I want to participate in generosity and good works and begin to see how living sacrificially advances the kingdom of God.
- I want to become so much like my heavenly Father that I cry over what breaks his heart, and find great delight in that which pleases him.
May this year be different enough that those closest to me will see a distinct change in my life this year. May they see my commitment to prayer, to my family and for a deep understanding to permeate my life in such a way that they themselves are drawn to be more like Jesus. Amen!