Every New Year's Day, I like to start off by spending time with God and writing in a new, blank journal. As part of my ritual, I record the year's non-negotiables:
- Follow God absolutely and obey him
- Trust Jesus fully—love and obey him
- Practice the Holy Spirit's Presence and be filled with him, living under his control
- Wait for the Lord in all things
- Worship, praise and love God
- Be strong and courageous
- Rejoice in the Lord always
A word from God
As soon as I asked God, "Lord, please give me a word for the year... ", hope popped into my mind. At first I thought it meant to have hope in the midst of circumstances, or hope for the year. I wondered, "Why this word for 2014?" Today's Spirit 105.3 verse of the day was: Psalm 31:24, "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD."
Why hope? God is inviting me to focus on him: God is my hope and my hope needs to be in him.
Verse for the year
I also asked for a verse for the year. This didn't come instantly. As I waited quietly, Psalm 91:1 came to mind. So I looked it up:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1, ESV
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1, NLT
I've been thinking about this verse every day. When things start to get stressful, I say this verse to myself, reminding me I can rest in God's shadow. He is the Most High, the Almighty. Nothing is too hard for him or beyond him. I imagine his shadow is HUGE! So I can just relax, exhale, lower my shoulders, and lean back into his care. He's got it and he's got me! I've been doing a lot of "resting" already but it works!!!
I choose hope in God and staying close to him so he can act on my behalf and I can rest. It's going to be a good year because God made it and he is good!
* Non-negotiable from http://www.warrenbaptist.org/non-negotiable/
* Hope from http://ilifejourney.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/hope-in-focus.jpg