As we close out this year, I’m guessing you’re more than ready to kiss 2020 goodbye! We’ve all experienced a lot of loss and hardship this past year. It has been the most unprecedented and uncertain year in our lifetime.
Our family, like yours, experienced quite a bit of loss. Loss of loved ones, job loss, and perhaps more difficult, dream loss. As we gathered as a family, our kids were reflecting on all the grandparents who went home to Jesus this past year. It was staggering to realize how many of our kids and kids-in-law had experienced the death of grandparents. As we were reflecting, my mind drifted to Psalm 25.
Loss becomes an opportunity for renewed trust and hope.
Trust and hope are like twins. They are bonded together. You cannot have one without the other. The Psalmist writes,“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you…No one who hopes in you will be put to shame” (Psalm 25:1-3). The word for hope that is used here means “to bind together.” In other words, as we are bound to the Lord through trust, our hope increases.
As we get ready to step into a new year, may I encourage you to invest in building your trust in the Lord? This is the key to hope. How do you strengthen your trust in God?
Savor the Scriptures. Read, memorize, and pray the scriptures back to God. In other words, don’t read just for information, read for transformation. Take it slow and ask the Holy Spirit to speak through the word directly to your heart. Underline, circle, and date verses that speak directly to your heart. I’ve done this for years and looking back on those dates is a faith-builder for me.
If you are raising kids, choose specific scriptures for each one and pray those scriptures over your kids. Looking back on all the scriptures I’ve prayed for my kids through the years is such a great reminder of how the Lord has worked in each child’s life.
Memorize some emergency verses for the moments when life doesn’t make sense. I cannot tell you how often in the face of suffering I’ve claimed my emergency verses. Those emergency verses have kept my mind and heart steady through some harrowing experiences.
Spend Time Praising God. Prioritize worshipping God every day. Turn on some music. Get on your knees if you’re able and simply let the music prompt your praise.
If you have small children and cannot escape for long, choose moments where you’ll have worship music playing. Let the song direct your thoughts to Christ. Within the sanctuary of your heart, praise Him that He is on the throne and that you can trust Him.
Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s Promptings. Learn to tune your heart to the movements of the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent His Spirit to live within you. Learn to listen for His promptings. The Psalmist wrote, “The Lord confides in those who fear Him; he makes his covenant known to them” (Psalm 25:14). One way to build your trust and hope bank is to obey when you feel like the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do something. For example, if you feel like the Holy Spirit is prompting you to give money to a poor family you see begging by the side of the road, give. If you suddenly feel like the Holy Spirit is prompting you to share your faith with your neighbor, speak up and share! Often, obeying the Spirit’s prompting is an act of faith. But as you seek to lead an obedient life to the voice of the Spirit, your trust in God’s goodness will grow.
As we step into 2021, why not seek to make this your greatest year of trust and hope. Savor the scriptures, spend time praising God every day, and cultivate sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s promptings.
Some of you have asked how you can contribute to Harling Leadership. Here is the link https://harlingleadership.com When you click on the donation button it will take you to the New Horizons Foundation. The New Horizon’s Foundation takes your gift and processes it for us, and it goes into the Harling Leadership account. Your gift enables us to invest in leaders all over the globe. Thank you for considering Harling Leadership for your end-of-the-year giving.
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