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Faithful Practices to Take into the New Year

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We made it! We are in the home stretch of 2020. But I get it if you hesitantly step forward into 2021 and you put off buying that new planner. After all, this past year didn’t turn out quite as we had hoped or imagined. What if we entered this coming year with a few tools, tucked in our belt, to equip us to tackle the hard days and the good ones too? Today, Meghan DeWalt shares with us some faithful practices that we can take into the new year, as our final episode of the “Grow Your Faith” series of 2020.

The stockings have been hung by the chimney with care, gifts have been exchanged, feasts partaken of, church services still happened in some form or another. This year Zoom calls were probably enjoyed, tears might have been shed, and Christmas lights still might be hung as 2021 draws near. Because don’t we all need as much light as we can get?

Making lists of goals or hopes for 2021 might seem futile after 2020 threw us all for a loop. Better to hold all things with open hands and not name specific wants or hopes lest another global crisis dash it all to pieces, right?

For those of us in Christ Jesus, children of God, let this narrative not be ours. 

Our doubts, fears, the gun-shyness, this is natural after going through varying degrees of trauma in 2020. But as Christians, we have daily, minutely access to God Jehova Rapha—God our healer, who can take our hearts and strengthen them with healing grace to keep practicing faithful obedience. 

And this includes our goal setting and hope-confessing for 2021 that unfurls in just a few days.

Faithful Practices to Take into the New Year


That hope-confessing? This is one practice we can take into 2021 with boldness, as well as, and firstly, into the throne room of grace where we have Jesus our Great High Priest who is not unable to sympathize with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).

Confessing our hopes alongside fears is engaging in honest communication with our God who knows all our inmost thoughts but desires to hear them from our own lips the same because He loves us just that much.

This strengthens our faith to remember who God is and what He has already said when the unexpected happens—which we can be assured always will.

Act of Remembering

Another practice we can take into 2021 is the act of remembrance. 

The changing of times and seasons is a time of reflection—and no matter how tough 2020 was that may make you wince to look back upon, God never left us or forsook us. He’s promised us this—which means looking back to trace God’s hand will inspire fresh hope and light to well up and change our entire selves—body, mind, and spirit.

This is not some Pollyanna-like ignoring or minimizing the hard, the pain, the loss, of the year; it is hard, holy work to hold what we lament in one open palm while holding hope and faith in the other—however small or broken.

All is a part of you—you who are being renewed day by day. And all of you is completely and lavishly loved by the God who holds time and seasons in His hands.

The God who remembers us, always on His heart—who invites us to participate in remembrance as this new year dawns. Because He is worthy to be praised and remembered—our strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.

Process Through Journaling

Whether or not you’re a journaler, I’d encourage you to take some time and just write some lists, or go ahead and pour out your heart about how 2020 was for you.

What you did, what you enjoyed, what you grieved—all of it.

Write down the good and the bad, knowing that Jesus whose birth we just celebrated is God with us.

Connecting with God

Write those lists of remembrance, then take some time to get quiet, your phone away, and look at the whole big picture of the past year and ask God to help you discern what you want for this upcoming year.

He knows our needs, and to our weakness, He is no stranger—and He wants us to ask Him for anything and everything. Trusting His yes or no or not yet, because He only has good in store for us, His children. 

And this ultimate good is knowing Him better, no matter what the circumstances.

Remember God, remember the redemption of the world in Jesus our Savior—and go into 2021 with confidence, tender and shaky though you might be. 

He is with and for you.


Faithful Practices to Take into the New Year - by Meghan DeWalt | Intentionalfilling.com

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