I want to write a blog post, but I’m finding myself feeling ‘under the weather’ and my thoughts aren’t as coherent as I’d like. So I’m going to probably keep this one short and hopefully sweet.
I love the ‘New Year’, I love the idea of ‘New Beginnings’, and I love that as a child of God – we’re able to experience His mercy and grace unconditionally – every year, every month, every day, every hour, and YES every minute – just by asking God’s forgiveness. We don’t have to wait until we get our act together to come to God, after all, we can never be ‘good’ enough to earn God’s forgiveness – it’s something that only Jesus could do for us.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
Romans 3:23-26 NLT
So why is it, the New Year brings so much hope to us?
I like to write down my ‘To Do’ lists and check off what I’ve done – sometimes I’ll even add something on the list after I’ve done it, just so I can have the satisfaction of marking that item as completed 🙄. My husband and I are doing a bible reading plan together on the You Version bible app, as we finish each day’s portion of the devotion, bible reading, and then discussion part of the plan – it lets us check off each item and sometimes with our schedules [being 10.5 hours apart] we often aren’t in sync with each other on the day we’ve done. Of course that’s not a big deal at all, and it doesn’t even bother me when we’re not on the same day – but I admit I LOVE it when I look at my plan and I see that he and I are literally on the same page.
I think that’s what I’m trying to say about the New Year. It’s an opportunity for everyone of us to start our year off the way we want. Last year at this time, I was training for my first full marathon and I even started the month of January with a personal challenge to run 1 mile every day – when my training days were only 3x a week for running, that was a big challenge by adding extra run days and I loved accomplishing it. I would absolutely love to be able to do that this year, but I’ve been having so many new health challenges that has made it impossible for me to run at all☹️. I have friends that I see training and doing everything I would like to still be doing, but I have to learn to be okay with that not being for me right now – after all, we each have our own race to run.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let 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 God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
Maybe God allowed me to have that accomplishment of a marathon last year, because this year there are other things God has in store for me. I know God is in charge and even though I’m not perfect and I might not have finished the year as I would have preferred, God still has good things planned for my family and I! He’s not finished with me yet [obviously since I woke up this morning, and if you’re reading this, that means God’s not done with you yet, either – just sayin’🤔] and whatever He has planned, I know it’s for His glory.
Below is the passage of scripture that God gave my family one day during my prayer time a few years ago and every year it becomes more and more part of our story.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 NLT