I am always intrigued by the beginning of a new year. This time of year is full of hope, promise, fresh starts, and resolutions. You know, those renewed commitments to lose weight, get organized, or whatever other means we articulate to better ourselves in the new year verses the old and previous year.
But as it happens, we are only successful about 10% of the time. And when we realize that we have failed to achieve that new commitment, then some of the luster of the new year is lost, and usually we begin to sink back into those old routines, making the new year no different than the old year.
But as Christians we have hope! One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
This letter is from the prophet Jeremiah to those people in exile in Babylon. Jeremiah is attempting to show those people that even though their situation may look bleak, God will redeem this situation and bring good from it. The same thing applies to us today.
God still has plans for each of us today. Plans that will give us hope and a purpose for the future. That no matter where we find ourselves, if we seek God, with all that we are, we will find him and when we pray, God will listen. We just need to rely on our faith, that child like faith.
The hope that helps us understand, regardless of situation or location, God is with us. Not just as an onlooker but as an intentional participant. Not just to help us when things go awry, but so invested in each of us that he has made plans for us for the future. We just need to do our part. We need to seek out God, involve God in our lives, make God the cornerstone and foundation of all that we do and all that we are.
So this new year, I encourage you to seek out God like never before. You can do this through dedicated, daily prayer time, Scripture reading, worship attendance, and small group study, as a few examples. So do not let this year escape you. Use these tools to claim God's hope this year and draw closer to the one that loved you first!
Have a great week and see you Sunday!