Facing the New Year with Confidence

By Kaaren Craig

The year 2020 is probably one we will all remember, what we were doing, where we were, and the changes it made in our lives. So, did you ever stop to think that good vision is 20-20? The lessons we learned this year should help us face the new year with confidence.

At the beginning of 2020 I asked God for a verse to guide me through the year. What a year it ended up being, and I sure appreciated His help and support along the way! I will share the verse with you shortly, but first I want to encourage you to be led by God for guidance in the coming new year.

God clearly instructs us to hear from our Lord Yeshua/Jesus who said, “My sheep hear my voice and follow Me” (Jn 10:27). Then, in a psalm sung by David we hear, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps 119:11).

There is a saying about goals, “If you aim at nothing, nothing will happen!” December is a good time to set new goals for the coming year. I encourage you to find challenging goals and then ask the Lord to help you meet them.

There is a story that Yeshua/Jesus taught when He was visiting the home of his friends. “But the Lord answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41). Mary was not pursuing her normal goals but instead chose to sit at the feet of Jesus. It takes courage to reach for things that are out of our comfort zone but with our Lord’s help we can achieve those goals.

Let me share with you now the powerful verse that God gave me at the beginning of 2020. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in all the earth!” (Ps 46:10). Oh, my. How this verse has resonated with me during the months of the pandemic.

God always knows the future, so He knew that the coronavirus was about to disrupt our lives and He has a great sense of ironic humor. Remember, at the beginning of 2020 none of us knew of the coming storm of words: covid 19, lockdown, or masks. However, after the pandemic stormed into our lives, we were forced to become much less active as we met the challenge of this critical new situation.

I would like to share with you now the personal lessons that I have learned this year from the verse that God gave me, and perhaps they will resonate with you also.

What does it mean to be still before God?

1. Since God knows the future, He knows what verse will anchor us through the year. So, let us each choose a verse to guide us through 2021.
2. Prayer is always a dialogue, a 2-way conversation, not dominated by one side. This advice works both with God and in conversation with others.
3. It takes determination and a conscious decision to be still, to listen to God, and to listen to others. When we listen, we grow in a natural reverence for God and experience lessons in patience.
4. It helps to have a set apart place to meet with God. (Jesus called it a prayer closet.) (Johanna Wesley would put her apron over her head and her many children would then not interrupt her; her apron- covered head was her prayer closet).
5. To be still I had to schedule a time.
6. To be still before Him in prayer not only benefits me on a personal level but I also learned from Psalm 46:10 that it will affect the nations.
7. God knew 2020 would be like no other year and would cause millions to be less active, which would give them an opportunity to be still with Him. What one does with the stillness is a choice that is left to each of us.
8. Wisdom comes through prayer in a quiet place. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
9. I now ask God all sorts of questions. I learned that He likes to lead His sheep in even basic things. The more we ask, the more He answers.
10. My prayers, my words to God, my words to others, and my words for the nations have changed. We become like those we hang around with and being still with God and letting Him communicate to me is changing me.
11. Being still before God produces a reverence for Him.
12. God has taught me that I do not have to earn His attention, His love, or even His active communication. Like two people in love, we do not need constant communication but just need to be together.
13. Being still before God has taught me to question my motives. Who gets the glory? Is it God, others, or me?
14. Being still before God has opened a 2-way conversation all day long without being in one set place.
15. God has taught me to say less and listen more to others as I am also listening to the Holy Spirit.
16. Being still before God has taught me to write down what He has revealed to me. I have a record of encouragement, strength, insights, corrections, and instructions.
17. God has given me the courage and strength to face the new year by asking for a verse that He will give me for 2021.

I hope these thoughts will encourage you to seek God for your own verse that will help you face the coming new year with confidence. I guarantee it will change you, mature you, and strengthen you, and I wish to prepare you because it is going to be very personal. None of us knows what will happen in 2021, but God does, and He promises to lead us and to be with us.

This is my prayer for you: Father, God, Creator of us all, thank You for revealing who You are. Thank you that Your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. I ask You to give each reader the anchor verse to guide them during the coming year. You know what they will need, what will strengthen them, encourage them, and give them the goal that You are calling them to reach. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The lessons we learned this year should help us face the new year with confidence.

Please give us your thoughts on this article!

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Kaaren Craig is a BibleInteract board member and loves exploring the depth of Scripture.

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