As one year closes out and another rolls in,
Mediating on all your wonderful works and faithfulness,
Inspires songs of praise,
I praise your Holy Name, King of the Ages.
The end of year is often a time to reflect. We look back to evaluate the old year and cast vision for the new year. In 2016, my word was Hope.
How did Hope play out in my family? The Lord fulfilled this hope on many fronts by demonstrating His goodness and faithfulness through both highs and lows. There were times of celebration, health challenges, restoration, engagement, transitions, travel abroad, ministry opportunities and growing closer to the Lord.
I especially enjoyed going to the Wynton Marsalis Jazz concert with members of my family in December. This was a first for us. As I listened to the rich music, the instruments and rich vocals bellowing out Christmas classics from the 50’s, I was transported to another realm. I closed my eyes and just let the music fill my soul as I reflected on the message of Hope in the music. At the end of this phenomenal performance, my family and I drove home in silence, each of us savoring the music in our hearts.
Hope was present everyday in my 2016.
What are your plans for 2017? Do you have a word? This is the fourth year that I prayerfully ask the Lord for a word to anchor me in the new year. My Word for 2017 is Abundance. It was inspired by Isaiah 55:8-13. I am looking forward to all that God has in store for us.
You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song,
And the trees of the field will clap their hands!
The abundance referred to in this verse is not the “name it and claim it” prosperity type of abundance. It is spiritual abundance of joy, peace and contentment in the Lord no matter the situation. It does not mean our lives will be without bumps. We will experience challenges that are necessary to help us grow closer to God.
How can we navigate 2017 successfully and reap this abundance? Here are a few tools that have helped me in the past and I am counting on them again in 2017. I hope they will bless you too !
Praise- God inhabits our praise as it releases a sweet aroma to Him. As you study the scriptures daily, identify the names of God and His Character. Write them down and use them in your worship. For example, God is Sovereign, my Rock, my Redeemer, Provider and Helper.
Prayer– Prayer is our lifeline. It is our declaration of dependence on God. Pray through the scriptures. Remind God of His promises. For example, “the Lord of righteousness goes before him and makes his path straight” (Psalm 85:13) was a verse I prayed when my children left home for college. Every time I was tempted to be anxious about their well-being, I prayed this verse.
Meditation-The bible has over 3000 precious promises. Find a couple and stand on them as you journey through 2017. Chew on God‘s word. It is sweeter than honey and good nourishment for your soul.
Thanks for your support and prayers in 2016. May 2017 be a year of spiritual abundance and transformation. I wish you a blessed 2017 that is filled with God’s best for you.
Scriptures: Psalm 145:5, Psalm 113:3, Psalm 65:8, 1 Timothy 1:17