Day 1 – Plans, Hopes, and Dreams for 2021
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8, ESV).
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19, ESV).
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end” (Lamentations 3:22, ESV).
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8, ESV).
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, ESV).
We won’t try to sugarcoat it, because we all know 2020 was a tough year. From racial violence and tensions to obnoxious politics, from police brutality and riots to crazy weather patterns and the notorious Covid 19—it’s been a difficult twelve months. Who could have foreseen the challenges that would result from a worldwide pandemic? It caused relational and spiritual division, on top of the host of changes to our social, economic and physical spheres. Brother turned against brother, masks became a hot topic, toilet paper was in short supply, and people isolated themselves, opening them up to depression and the effects of alienation from friends and family. Truth be told, there probably weren’t many of us who were sad to see the clock strike midnight, hoping that the New Year would bring about more positivity and peace.
So, here we are with a fresh year ahead, hoping for something better as we move forward into 2021. Most of us likely have some goals for the coming year and some changes we wish to make in our lives. Some have plans that will be life-altering, and some may be pressing forward with a terminal illness hanging over their heads and hearts. Yet God has granted us this day—this year—and in it, He desires for us to fulfill the purposes and plans He has for us. We have been preserved, and pressing forward, we hope to achieve what He has for us. Not all of it will be easy, but if we live out this year in obedience to the calling of our Father, we know we will bring Him joy!
As you spend time today reflecting on this new beginning, it’s good to make some spiritual goals for 2021, as well as other goals you likely have in mind. We can get pretty wrapped up in physical and financial goals that we neglect to put effort into and plan for the development of our spiritual health. Improving the number on the scale and decreasing our debt are great goals, but they won’t do much for building up eternal reward. And so, our goals need to include those with results that will last forever and be of benefit for eternity.
This world will always have its challenges and heartaches, and until we find ourselves in our heavenly home, we will wrestle with circumstances and situations. But we are not a people without hope—no, our hope is in Christ, and in Him there is reason to be joyful. As we look ahead into this new year, we look to Him, knowing He will walk by our side through every situation, whether trial or victory. Will there be more disheartening news for 2021? Absolutely. And yet we weren’t made for this world but rather were made to be a light for Christ while we spend our days here. As we move ahead, allow Him to guide us and lead us, trusting that whatever comes, He knows about it all. And when we allow Him to be our Guide, we don’t need to worry or fear. Jesus is capable of handling everything on the horizon, and when I relinquish my expectations and my feeble attempts at control, I can sit back and rest, knowing I am safe in His arms—come what may.