Hindsight is 2020 might be the understatement of the decade. Can you believe we’ve almost made it to the shore of 2021? I don’t know how this year was for you, but if I had to guess we all need an extra cup of coffee and a boatload of hope.
Instead of setting goals and making resolutions, I’m looking at a new year with new eyes. I want to go deeper to the roots. I want to focus on what I know is true through every season, year, generation: God’s promises.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. -2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV
His promises are faithful, trustworthy, and for us. When we receive God’s promises in our lives, His Word becomes a firm foundation for us to stand on — grow on — build a life on.
Don’t get me wrong — I love casting out vision for a new year to come, but I believe we all need something unwavering and steadfast to hold onto as we walk out of 2020. It feels unfair to project unrealistically high pressure on 2021 to make up for all the hard things 2020 brought to the table. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have hope or motivation — we need lots of it. But we don’t need the added pressures of comparison or striving to have a say in the condition of our hearts. What we need is hope, healing, restoration, joy — all of us — in one way or another.
For me, 2021 is a year of great promise — promises made into vows will be said at an alter, in a chapel, with my soon-to-be husband! Marriage is a covenant promise reflecting Christ’s love for His bride, the church. The promises we will make on that Saturday in early March will be the start of our lives together. God’s promises bring our lives together with Him, too, through Jesus. The promised Savior, Jesus, the Messiah, came to us so we may be saved and have new life with God. We are woven together with this very promise, and we will hold onto it every day as we live out a Gospel-centered marriage.
Now we have been stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. He is given to us like an engagement ring is given to a bride, as the first installment of what’s coming! He is our hope-promise of a future inheritance which seals us until we have all of redemptions promises and experience complete freedom — all for the supreme honor and glory of God! Ephesians 1:13b-14 TPT
The Holy Spirit is our hope-promise for future inheritance in God. These verses from Ephesians describe the Holy Spirit like an engagement ring — always with us and reminding us of the blessings and unity yet to come. As a gal wearing an engagement ring, hope-promise gives words to the feelings I'm pressing into these days in faith and in wedding planning. Hope is trusting and expecting for something to happen. Promise is the guaranteed commitment to follow through. No matter the plans (as we've seen this year often take its own way), what if we put our hope-promise in the Lord even more?
I have found in Scripture that God’s promises often begin with He will do something. Here are some promises straight from God’s heart by His Word we can cling to in this new year to come.
Make our steps firm and hold us up (Psalms 37:23-24)
Give us rest (Matthew 11:28)
Equip us with grace and power in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Renew our strength (Isaiah 40:31)
Give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
Fight for us (Exodus 14:14)
Be with us (Joshua 1:9)
Forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Restore us and place us on a firm foundation (1 Peter 5:10)
Show us the path to take (Proverbs 3:6)
We are not promised life will be easy all the time. There will be mountains and valleys — stormy seas and green pastures. But the Gospel is good news, friends! We are promised God’s presence and new life in Jesus. No matter what, His promises are yes and amen. May it be so.