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Countdown To Hope

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. The ball has dropped. Confetti is flying. Sweet kisses are shared between lovers. The sky is opened up with fireworks of glory. Children are up past their bedtimes of normal. Shouts of joy and gladness are upon all who are looking forward to the new year.

The trees are laid bare of leaves as snow now covers the branches. The ground is covered in layers. It's a new year. A new season. The old is past and the new approaches. As yesterday is gone I embrace today and all it holds. I must look beyond the memories of old. It's time to create memories. It's time to live beyond the pain and wounds still bleeding red.

Yes, it's time to live in hope. Change doesn't just happen. It is made. It's a choice. Today is my chance to believe in a God who knows my yesterday, lives in my today, and dreams of my tomorrow. It's time to lay it all down and surrender to Him.

It's time to lift up my face to the Lord. It's time to tear down those walls I have built and allow love to enter. Over the vastness of a year guilt can pile up, pain can burden, and a heart can be lost in devastation. Life happens and anger rolls in like high tide. We can get lost in emotion as this world tries with it's might to tear us down to nothingness.

So, what do we do upon this new year? We accept yesterday and trust the Lord will work His might through every circumstance life has held for us. We simply let go and let God. We come to that point in life where the count down to hope matters more than ever. We stop giving this world room to discourage us and we give God the room He needs to live in us and through us. We clothe ourselves in His love, His grace, and His mercy. We reach beyond ourselves. Far beyond our comfort zone and find a new hope in the great depths of God's love.

We embrace this new year with a new hope. A hope in Jesus. We place our hope in Christ, our Savior, the One who came and died for us. In His death we find life. Understand, He gave all so that we could have life abundant. He didn't give all so we could simply live a mediocre life. We are NOT to be be stagnant in quiet waters. We would not  be content with a dead branch hanging over head. We are to move! We are to make ripples! We are to soar above! We are to dive in wanting more than this life can give. We can find this hope, this life, in Christ Jesus. It's through surrender that we find redemption.

Our Lord and Savior holds a promise of life everlasting. We can wake with joy on this first day of the new year. Without knowing what today will hold we can trust in Jesus that whatever may come He is alive and present. We can know without a doubt that He wants to use our lives to bring about glory and honor. Our lives are important. Every aspect of our lives, down the smallest detail, are important to our Lord.

In this year we will encounter joy, sadness, gain and loss. There will be a mixture of emotion as we face each trial and each new joy. We can live in such a way that this world sees hope through us as we allow Christ to live in us. Friends, we can live in victory. He knows what this year will hold and He knows the plans He has for you. He wants you to grab hold of a new hope and live in right now. Making the most of this moment is what He desires for us. Our greatest hope begins in Jesus Christ. Give Him this new year. Dedicate your life to Him in this new season of life and watch Him create in you in a new hope that supersedes anything you have ever dreamed.

"Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

"This hope will not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:5

Lord, as this new year begins, may we find a new hope in You. A hope that covers all doubt. A hope that brings joy to a hurting heart. A hope that brings forth a peace that surpasses all understanding. Lord, give us this day wrapped in Your love and may we trust in You as we learn to find a new hope in You. May we lay it all down and give You the room You need to work in our lives. Use us in  mighty ways, Lord. Take our lives as they are Your own and create in us, mold us to be people with a new vision, a new heart, set on a mission of living in Your hope.

You can find this article and many more in Christian Women's Voice Magazine. Just click the link to check it out.

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