BY: ZACH WARRICK
Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT): But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.
Romans 15:13 (NLT): I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: A new year marks a turning point in all our lives. The old year disappears as the clock hits twelve, and suddenly there are 365 new days filled with unexplored opportunities. The year 2014 has a lot of potential, and we have a lot to experience. Through this coming year, we as Christians have a call to meet every new and changing situation—no matter what it may be— in the same way; we are to embrace it with hope and joy.
Hope may be defined as the faithful trust and expectation we have in the promises and purposes of our Lord. We can place our trust in God because He does not falter in fulfilling His promises. Out of this hope each of us can experience great joy. This joy is not a surface level emotion but a deep connection to God’s peace and contentment. It is a fruit of the Spirit (see: Galatians 5:22), and it grows out of our continued rootedness in the Lord’s presence. Paul explains in Romans 15:13, that God is “the source of hope” who “will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him.” This new year, let us cling to the One who is the foundation of our hope and the source of our joy. May 2014 be a year in which His will is done in every new and changing season.
PRAYER: God, you are the foundation of my hopes. I give this new year, with all it contains, to you. I pray for your will to be done in my life, and that I would take constant joy in your presence. Let 2014 be a year filled with your love, power, and presence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Zach Warrick is the pastoral assistant at Life Assembly as well as a senior at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. He loves writing and watching cartoons with his brother among other things.