Stepping into the New Year with Hope

Stepping into the New Year with Hope

I will step into tomorrow with hope – not because it’s a new year, but because each day I choose to ground myself in God’s Word.

Markers of time – hours, days, years – are helpful and useful. I’m a planner and I use multiple calendars, printed and digital, every day. But turning the page in a calendar doesn’t change the fact that tomorrow is another day that I need to survive.

When I look at the coming of a new year, my tendency is to get overwhelmed by the scale of it. But I don’t have to survive the whole year at once. I can choose to simply look at tomorrow. And then I can put tomorrow in God’s hands.

He will show me where to step.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
   do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
   and he will show you which path to take.

Tomorrow is uncertain in so many ways. So much is out of my control. But if I focus on the next step, I can trust that God will lead me.

I applaud people who set New Year’s resolutions and goals. But I rarely do, because they can feed into my anxiety and perfectionism. Instead, I focus each day on the steps God wants me to take that day only. I trust Him. I know that if I take each next right step, I will end up where He wants me to be.

Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Sometimes, the next right step is to just breathe. I don’t always have to fight the anxiety. I can point my mind to God’s Word to remind myself that He is bigger than any crisis around me – real or imagined.

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Sometimes, the next right step is to take my medicine. Mental illness is often caused by physical dysfunction in the brain. God has provided doctors and medicine to help us overcome this, just like He provided glasses to overcome malfunctioning eyes.

He will guide me as I step.

Psalm 37:23-24
The Lord makes firm the steps
   of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
   for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

I pray every morning that God will show me each next right thing to do that day. But I’m human and fallible. I don’t always take the right steps.

Sometimes, I don’t stop to listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading. Sometimes, I choose to do something different, because I don’t think it’s that big of a deal (at the time).

When I look back at those choices, I feel guilt or shame. And that’s when I rely on God’s mercy and grace.

I’m not going to do everything right. I may really screw up tomorrow. I may have already screwed up today.

But God’s Word gives me instant access to His forgiveness.

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

He invites me to His throne where I can be overwhelmed by His mercy and grace.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

When I trust my steps to God, I am trusting that He will not only lead me to the right path, but He will also guide me back when I start straying from the right path.

Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.

When I wake up tomorrow morning, and the calendar has turned to the new year, I know I’ll be fine. Because with the new day comes new compassion. And the Holy Spirit is right there, waiting to tell me where to step next.

How is God’s Word giving you hope for the new year?

Image Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images

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