As we move into this new year, it’s easy to hold on to bad memories and perceived failures from the year before. Many people have lost loved ones, have missed out on goals from the year before, or dealt with other blows.
It’s easy to forget the good moments mixed in. It’s also easy to forget we have someone greater than all the hardships on our side.
It’s easy to focus on what went wrong. But, if we take the time to remember the things we can be grateful for, it may help ease some of that heartache.
If nothing else, it can bring us closer to the Father who promises to walk with us during the painful times. If you’re struggling, or you just want a reminder of God’s love for this new season, I’d like to leave you with some verses to help encourage you.
God Has a Plan for Us
Jeremiah 29:11 - "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".
God has great plans for our lives. Even in the hardest times, we can remember that God has a greater plan for us in the future.
This struggle may be just what we need for this future. Yes, sometimes a struggle is just a struggle, but God will always use all things to lead us closer to Him if we let Him.
God Has Shown Great Love for Us
John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
Isn’t that what it’s really all about? Yes, we just finished celebrating the birth of our savior, but the greater gift was his willingness to give up his life for our salvation. We have a savior that loved us that much.
God Works for His Children
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Whatever you’re going through, God will see you through it. He has a plan to work everything to good. Remember that there is a light at the end and a Father next to you through it all.
God Defeated the Darkness
John 1:5 - The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus is light, and the darkness could not defeat him. You may feel like things are in darkness at times, but there is always light if you’re willing to look for it. Don’t let the darkness win in your life.
God Does Answer Prayers
Luke 11:9 - Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you.
You don’t have to go through anything alone. Seek God, let him help you. Remember he will take care of our needs if we’ll get out of his way and let him.
God Seeks Us Always
Luke 15:4-6 - If one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the missing one till he has found it? How delighted is he then! He lifts it onto his shoulders, and home he goes to call his friends and neighbors together. "Celebrate with me!" he cries. "I have found my lost sheep."
God is always looking to bring his ‘sheep’ back to him. If you’ve lost your way, God will seek you out. Call to him and he will find you.
God Has a Greater Eternity Waiting for Us
John 10:28 - I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
God has given us eternal life through his son. Jesus gave his life so we could have a new life. Remember that one day we will once again be in the full presence of our Lord and Savior. What a wonderful day that will be.
Don’t let the finite take your mind and heart away from the infinite and eternal Lord. All other things will pass away, but God’s word will always be with us.
Connect with Our Lord This Year
If you’re feeling discouraged, take some time to connect with the Lord. Put aside your earthly concerns for a little while and go before your Lord today. Bring your cares, bring your sadness, bring your frustration, and bring your willingness for him.
Let him wash you anew in his love. Let him shoulder those burdens with you. Let him overcome the darkness for you!
Wishing you a wonderful new year!