My husband and I have a practice that we do near the beginning of each year. We ask God for a word, a theme for what this particular year is going to be about and where He is calling us. It becomes something precious from God that we hold on to throughout the whole year – an umbrella under which God is specifically working.
In the past I’ve had words like “intimacy” and “follow” and “obey”; words that invited me into something deeper and higher with Jesus. Now, when those years ended, I was still called to obey and follow. I was still invited into living a life of intimacy with Jesus but in the years that followed, I would know something of God that I hadn’t before; something that as that particular year progressed, I so desperately needed.
My word for this year is “believe”. I usually get a word, but I don’t always get a scripture to go along with it. This year, I did. And it’s not just for the year (neither is my word) but it’s for my life. Want to know what it is? Of course you do!
It’s “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’ (Luke 1:45)
Which begs the question…. what has God promised me? What has He promised you? You are meant to know.
There are such beautiful promises for us in the scriptures but God has personal promises for each of us as well and often they become life rafts for us to cling to when our lives get stormy.
To all of us, he has marvelously promised:
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
And “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13
How about 2 Cor 12: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”
And the ultimate comfort and hope that we never do one moment of our lives alone. Never have. Never will. He says, “I will never abandon you.” Heb 13:5 Hoorah.
Oh, His promises are so great. So good and true. For you. What glorious gifts His promises are! God is so very good at giving gifts.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
God is the Author, Creator and Giver of all good things. Including joy. He says we can have joy in the midst of everything life is throwing at us. He says we can have peace in the midst of every season and storm that comes our way. And they do come our way. In John 17:33 Jesus says, “In this world, you will have suffering.” Yes. We know that. But He continues with hope. “But take heart, I have overcome the world.” Suffering does not have the final word over our lives. Every source of pain, every heartache, every loss, every sorrow, every worry is overshadowed and overcome by the victory Jesus has won for us.
We can live with an expectant hope while we wait for our sorrow to be soothed, our every ache met with mercy and our every hunger to be filled.
How hungry are you?
What are you waiting for? Do you know? It’s good to ponder and name it.
I personally couldn’t wait for the Superbowl to be over this year because I wanted to watch This Is Us and see what happened to my and everyone’s else’s beloved Jack. I wait to watch because the characters and the story have captured my heart.
The best stories speak to our hearts. They call us up. They remind us of what is good about life, what is worth fighting for, and what is worth waiting for.
Because we are all waiting.
The earth itself is waiting.
Romans 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
It is waiting for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed. Waiting for the world to be made new. Waiting for the renewal of all things. Waiting for Jesus to return.
We long. We ache. And every story we love, every moment that moves us, every longing that pierces us – reminds us of the Grand Redemption that we are waiting for.
We are to wait eagerly, with hope. Because we are not waiting in vain.
The only way we can wait is if we are holding fast to the hope that we will not be waiting forever, right?
Waiting requires trusting. We will be able to wait with expectancy only if we believe that a great good really is coming. It’s an exercise of faith. It’s an opportunity for our desires to not be quelled but to rise, for our hope to become heavier, more substantial, anchored more solidly in the belief that a goodness beyond our wildest dreams is coming to us when our Jesus comes in glory. And He is coming. We are promised His ultimate return when He will put every enemy under His feet.
And, even now, Jesus is coming. He is present in the waiting. We do not wait alone. We do not wait in vain.
Because of Jesus, we can live open-handedly with an eye out for the good that is coming our way today; we can let every ache deepen our hunger. Hunger for more is not our enemy. It is a friend beckoning us onward to faith, to trust that in the waiting our souls are being enlarged for the purposes of God. And as we wait, we can worship. We can turn our gaze to Jesus and put our trust in Him. Let us allow the longing we feel to resurrect our hope that the One who promised is faithful and a great good is coming.
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord will accomplish what he has promised her.