Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Our Hope For The New Year And Beyond

“Our Hope For The New Year And Beyond”

Psalm 33:20-22 NLT

We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.


I have found myself in the past months starting off statement with “I sure hope________________” and then I fill in the blank with whatever thought I have at that time.  I have been hoping for a lot of things as I’m sure many or most of you have as well.  Through our years of life, we hope for many things in different ways. 

This past year, 2020, we have all probably hoped for things we had never thought about before.  With all the chaos and uncertainty, we have found ourselves hoping in different ways and maybe hoping for different things than we have hoped for in the past.  Just take a few moments and think back to the different things you have hoped for this past year.  Think of all that has gone on and all that has happened in your family, at work, at church and other places.  Take some time to think on what you have hoped for that you hadn’t really thought about in the past until now.

Many of us have probably had hopes shattered in some ways and then found ourselves grasping for some kind of relief and assurance that things will get better.  We have all been affected in so many ways this year by all the pandemic chaos and we are hoping and praying that things will get better very soon.

I’m learning each new day that instead of hoping in things of this world, as I so often do, I instead need to hope always in God.  I need to put my hope and trust solely in Him because He knows the future and knows what is best for myself and my family.  I’m learning little by little to hope more in Him and not in what the world offers or tries to offer.  I have been so grateful for the ways God has been providing for us this year in many different ways with the pandemic, but I need to remember that those things we have been blessed with are not and in themselves.  God is always the provider and I need to put all my hope and trust in Him.

Perhaps we need to shift our thinking of hope for the New Year and start putting much more hope in God instead of the things of this world.  When things seem bleak, God is still going to provide in some way and He always does.  We need to look into the New Year and be reminded of all the wonderful ways He has provided and still will continue to provide.  

He is our True Hope for the New Year and beyond!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

The True Source For Every Season

 “The True Source For Every Season”

Psalm 62:1-2 NIV

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.  Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.


As I gather my thoughts and share with you in the devotional for this week, I am thinking through the whole year of 2020 and all that has taken place with the chaos.  However, even with all the chaos, I know and truly believe that God is still and will always be in control. 

As I consider the past year, our time of celebrating Thanksgiving last month and now embarking on the week of Christmas and then New Year’s to follow right after, I am reminded that no matter what is going on, I can always find true rest and peace with God amidst all the craziness going on.  We have all experienced and continue to experience times that are good, time that are challenging and times where we just cannot wrap our minds around anything going on around us. 

I am so blessed to know that God has taken such good care of me and my family through all of this turbulent time this year.  I am so thankful for the health that he has given to me and my wife and kids.  I’m also thankful for the wonderful family he has give to me through my wife’s extended family and mine as well.  Each day, God is reminding me of all He has blessed me with and continues to give me. 

I am reminded that I have a job, a family who loves me, great friends who care, a house to live in, food in my fridge and transportation to get me and my family where we need to go.  God has provided and He continues to do so in so many ways.  I am reminded that He is truly my peace and rest.  He is my salvation and my rock.  He is my fortress and I can never be shaken, no matter what comes my way.

I find each day that instead of focusing on all the constant changes that are happening around me, I need to focus on the blessings He has given to me and continues to give. 

I’m sure so many of you out there are dealing with many different challenges and struggles as this year has progressed.  Let us never forget that even though we often face great challenges, we serve a great God Who is bigger than anything we face!  He reigns and always will!

As we approach this week of Christmas and gathering together with friends and family as much as we can, let’s remember Who is the real reason for not only this season, but every season and every single day of life.

God bless you all and have a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Praise, Give Thanks And Trust

“Praise, Give Thanks And Trust”

Psalm 28:6-7 NLT

Praise the Lord!  For he has heard my cry for mercy.  The Lord is my strength and shield.  I trust him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.


After reading through this passage several times lately, I felt it would be a good challenge and encouragement for us to consider focusing on three different things as we have just finished the Thanksgiving holiday and go into Christmas.  I always say and have heard often that we shouldn’t just focus on Thanksgiving one day per year, but rather each and every day because we have so much to be thankful for. 

The three different areas we should focus on are praise, give thanks and trust, considering all the chaos this year has brought to us.  First, we should praise God for Who He is and always will be.  Second, we should always give thanks no matter what has happened or is happening.  Third, we need to daily continue to learn to trust in Him, especially when we don’t understand life around us.

There are some days it is easy to do these three things.  Then there are days when it is far from our minds to even consider praising Him, giving thanks and trusting.  I get it and have many of those days as well.  There are some days when I feel good in praising Him, giving thanks and putting my trust in Him. Then there are days when these things are the last on my mind because I’m frustrated and confused and just don’t feel like doing so.  We all have challenging days when we feel like and wonder why God isn’t leading us or connecting with us. 

This year has been so challenging in ways we never expected.  Instead of us often focusing on the frustrations we continue to deal with, perhaps we need to shift our perspective and focus on praising God for all He has done and continues to do, give genuine thanks for the abundant blessings He has given to us and learn to trust in Him no matter what situations or circumstances come our way. 

In the past weeks, I have found myself up and down in emotions and feeling frustrated over continued changes and restrictions.  Some days it really feels overwhelming and I feel so tired of dealing with the year, as I’m sure many of you are.  But then I have to remember that I should not focus on all the negative things, but instead focus on all the great things God has been doing and continues to do in my life.  It’s my choice what to focus on and I need to make sure I’m working hard to set a good example for not only my family at home, but also for my coworkers and for anyone anywhere else I go. 

My prayer for all of us today and every day is that we will remember to always praise Him, give thanks and trust not only to keep us focused on what we’ve blessed with, but also to show others His light as we strive to shine setting an example of His love for all to see.