“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
Happy New Year, Beloved! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday! I can’t believe we are in the new year. The year 2020, what a blessing! Every new year we tend to have a new vision. We analyze which areas of life we’ll focus on improving and we write down a list of personal goals we want to accomplish. Whether it’s improving fitness, getting a promotion, or spending more time with family, we all love to start the year motivated and with a new plan. This year, I plan to spend more time on writing, helping my husband grow his business, continuing to focus on fitness and spending more quality time with my kids.
With the excitement and busyness of it all, I want to remind everyone to be at peace this year! “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11) While it’s great to have a new vision for a new year, it can cause us to become restless. It’s easy to get laser-focused on obtaining our new goals and sometimes we forget to focus on being happy with where we are at this moment. We make life all about what is ahead and that has the ability to affect our peace. We are encouraged and motivated in the beginning and then if results don’t happen quickly, we start to lose the joy of it all.
We feel like we “have” to reach these milestones we’ve set for ourselves and if we don’t, we’ve failed and feel a sense of despair. What’s worse is that we tend to compare our “personal goals” to the goals and accomplishments of others. Sometimes we look at what our family and friends are accomplishing and feel discouraged. It seems like those around us are checking items off their lists – being promoted, getting engaged or married, having a baby, or buying their dream home. If those are things we wanted for this year, we can feel envious and start to lose hope.
We can’t even truly be happy for our loved ones because instead of focusing on their blessing, we are focusing on our lack. We aren’t happy with our lives because we are too focused on what is ahead, what others have and where we “should be” in life. But the bible tells us to be at peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Beloved, please know that you are not defined by your accomplishments and achievements. Having dreams and goals is great! But reaching them or not reaching them is not the measure of who you are. You are royalty, a child of the Most-High God and even if you don’t get to the gym everyday, double your revenue, or get completely out of debt this year, you are still worthy, loved, and blessed. And if you’ve been waiting on God for a particular blessing, keep praying and believing! Be at peace and know that your blessing is on its way!
Do not look around and be discouraged when others are blessed with something you are longing for. You don’t have to compare yourself to others. You can rest assured that our Lord has more than enough blessings for everyone! He can bless your neighbor with a promotion and still bless your business to reach its highest earning potential. He can bless your co-worker with a healthy baby and still bless you with healthy twins! There is no limit to what God can do and through him all things are possible. Don’t be discouraged if some goals you set for this year, don’t become an immediate reality. Have peace in knowing that God has an amazing plan for you and that he wants you to have the desires of your heart. We have to trust his timing above our own and results will happen! Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Be filled with hope. God will deliver!
In addition to the goals I listed above, I am also going to focus on gratitude. Everyday, I want to thank God for all the blessings in my life. Even in the midst of struggle or sorrow, it’s amazing what being thankful can do. When you really stop and think about all your blessings from God, it has the ability to change your attitude from one of sadness, envy, and lack to one of joy, thankfulness, and peace.
Beloved, in addition to focusing on your personal goals this year, I encourage you to focus on peace and thankfulness for all your blessings (past, current, and those to come). Remember that the Lord will be with you through all the highs and lows of this year and that you are deeply loved, richly blessed, and highly favored. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
If you have a prayer request, please reach out! I would be happy to pray with you or for you. Also, send this link to any friends or family members that might need a word from the Lord today. Be blessed!
Jesus Loves You,