BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
As we stand on the threshold and final hours of a year, the greatest confidence that we can possess is that there is a God who loves us, who knows what we will face, and promises to be with us in any and all circumstances.
The well-known verse above is one that has brought a great deal of reassurance and hope to those who place their faith in the Lord. However, I remember the stark realization that these words of encouragement were spoken in a letter from Jeremiah to exiles in Babylon who were preparing for a difficult and troubling 70 years of captivity.
During this time God would be working for the good of His people. They key for them was to remember that they were not, “God forsaken.” The Lord promised, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)
The next year may bring unexpected challenges and times of testing. It may bring a year of calm, peace and free of challenges. Which ever it is we can have assurance that the Lord is not surprised and is working on our behalf. We can have the confidence that in good times and in bad, the Lord is working for our “good” as those called to live “according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
In this next year we can know the strength that the Lord provides. Strength to endure hardship and the “strength” to handle the “good times.” Paul said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12,13 NIV)
We have the assurance that the Lord who was with us last year and the year before that, will be the same God who walks with us in the coming year. For, “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)
He is the One who provides us a “hope and a future.” So let us be reminded of the words of Paul the Apostle as we “double-down” on our commitment to the Lord in the New Year.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV)
Prayer for today… Lord thank you that we can face each year with a sense of confidence and anticipation, because You are the faithful, “every-present help” in our lives. May our trust in You grow and our commitment to You be steadfast in the New Year.