As this year comes to a close, it’s vital that we take time to both reflect on what God has done and allow him to prepare us for what’s to come. A new year marks a fresh opportunity to center our lives around the goodness of God. I pray that as you begin looking toward what is to come you will make space to gain God’s perspective, ground your hopes and pursuits on his grace, and celebrate all that God has done and is doing. May your time with God this week be filled with the loving presence of your heavenly Father.
Scripture:“Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:22
As sons and daughters of the living God, faith founded on God’s nearness should be at the core of our hope for next year. Psalm 139:7-12 says,
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
There is no greater source of hope than God’s resounding declaration of his nearness. Jesus paid the ultimate price that you and I might be no longer separated from God. His presence now dwells within us through the Holy Spirit. And that fact brings a pervasive hope that has the ability to profoundly impact every aspect of our lives.
As you look forward, know that the God who dwells within you knows every little thing that will happen next year. He dwells within all of eternity. Time for him is not as it is for us. And he promises to be with you in the midst of any trial, pain, victory, or defeat. He longs for you to know his presence moment by moment in everything you will do.
Your heavenly Father says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). You can have the fullness of hope for next year because the God who fashioned time is “your God.” He will help you and be there for you. He will never “leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
While the rest of the world sits in fear and worry over what the future holds, your God is leading you in the path of peace that comes from trusting in his presence. But the choice is yours. Will you place your hope in yourself, others, the world, or in God? If you try and build your hope on the foundations of this world, you will find yourself tossed about by the ever-changing waves of man’s opinion. But if you choose to found your hope on the rock of God’s nearness, your life will be filled with all the goodness and mercy of God’s steadfast love.
Take time right now to place your hope in the loving nearness of your heavenly Father as you enter into guided prayer.
1. Allow Scripture to fill you with hope founded on the nearness of God.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Psalm 139:7-12
“And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” Exodus 33:14
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
2. Where do you need the peace and comfort that comes from knowing God is and will always be near to you? What are you worried about for next year? What unknowns are causing you stress or fear?
3. Take time to place your hope in the nearness of your heavenly Father. Place your trust in him that he will always be with you through thick and thin.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Why do we live as if God isn’t near to us? Why do we fumble through life on our own when Jesus paid the ultimate price that we might have restored relationship with our loving Creator? God has made available a better way of living and has called us to walk in it. He wants us to know his will, love, and power moment by moment. He wants our thoughts, emotions, and actions to be fully founded in his unshakable nearness. Paul’s prayer in Romans 15:13 is my prayer for you today: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” May your day be filled with the peace that comes from trusting in God’s nearness.
Extended Reading: Psalm 139
For more information on today's devotional click here!