December 30, 2022
12 New-Year Reminders To Read Before 2023
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"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
As we stand at the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, we've decided today's devotion will be a little different. Take some time to soak in these truth-filled reminders, one for each month, as you look back on 2022 and step into 2023. And, friend, trust that God is already there, working out all things for the good of those who love Him! (Romans 8:28) Happy New Year!
- Take a deep breath and remember God is good at being God. Let God be God, and instead of seeking control, seek to trust Him.
- You are created by love and for love. Instead of wasting time and energy "proving" you're worthy of love, focus on loving others.
- Isaiah 43:18-19 says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Instead of dwelling on the hard parts of this year, choose to leave the past in the past. And stay expectant - God is doing something new in 2023!
- Strive to sit at tables Jesus would have sat at. Jesus sat and ate with sinners, (Mark 2:15) but He didn't "walk in step with the wicked" (Psalm 1:1, NIV). If those gathered around you are gossiping and pushing others down, walk away.
- Like Sarah in Genesis 18, you may be doubting that God will give you a miracle. But God can transform your doubt and make a way.
Be who you needed when you were younger. There's probably a college student who needs to hear your testimony, a young mom who needs to hear she's doing a good job, or a middle-school girl who needs to hear love isn't how her dad treated her mom. Someone needs your story, your presence and your discipleship.
Rest is a holy rhythm, not a prize to be earned. True rest comes from stepping away from the craziness of life and being still while knowing God is in control. Cultivate patterns of rest in your life.
- Heartbreak is hard, but our God is strong. Even when you watch a door close, get ghosted or go through a breakup, your story isn't finished. Psalm 34:18 says "the LORD is near to the brokenhearted" (ESV). So when you’re crying, confused, heartbroken and rejected ... trust your Savior is near.
- How you care for and exercise your body should always be a celebration of what your body, designed by God, can do. Even something as good as working out can become a bad thing if you don't make it a God thing.
- When you find a friend who makes you laugh, loves you well and calls you out, keep her! Cheer her on; be her biggest advocate. Find friends who brag about you behind your back, and be their "hype woman" in return.
- A true leader is formed not by a position but by love. Love big instead of trying to become big, and use leadership opportunities (big and small) to be a light.
- Life isn't always what you expect, and you might be walking through something very hard - but right now, in some area of your life, you're in the middle of a blessing. Don't miss out on your current blessing because you're too busy counting down the days until the next one. No matter what else happens, if you’ve placed your faith in Jesus, every day you are lovingly "being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV).
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
As the year is coming to an end, we know there can be a mix of emotions. Acknowledging both the hard things and the happy things that happened can leave us unsure of where to go next. That's why, at Proverbs 31 Ministries, we want to be one of the places you can turn to find biblical Truth and hope. Before this year is over, will you join our family of donors who have given a gift in 2022? Without you, we can't continue to do what we do. Click here to give now.
The third book from popular blogger and podcaster Grace Valentine, What Will They Think?: Nine Women in the Bible Who Can Help You Live Your Life Boldly, features the stories of Esther, Deborah, Sarah, Mary Magdalene, Tabitha and others. These women did not bend to peer pressure or seek to people-please but instead turned their focus to God. Get your copy here today!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Genesis 21:1, 6, "Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised ... Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.'" (NIV)
How have you doubted God in 2022? Going into 2023, commit to being a daughter of God who laughs in amazement at God rather than laughing in doubt. What do you want to trust God with this year? Share in the comments!
© 2022 by Grace Valentine. All rights reserved.