I am not one to do New Year’s resolutions, set goals, or lay out life plans. I had heard of people choosing Bible verses or other mantras to help set a focus for their year. This sounded interesting and more doable than goals or resolutions but still not something I planned to do. Then, during the first week of the year, I read a section of scripture which echoed many of the prayers I pray for myself. I have read the words of this passage several times before, but this time a desire stirred in me to dwell on them longer. So, I resolved to try the “yearly verse” concept and to set my mind on this scripture often throughout 2020. The passage is several verses, which I originally wanted to pare down to just one or two. But each verse is so rich in meaning and truth, I couldn’t bring myself to leave any portion of it out. The passage comes from the first chapter of Colossians, verses 9-14, “May you be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
I often feel foolish and ignorant--not knowing how to respond in certain situations, which direction to go next, how to parent well, how to love others well, how to manage my business well, or how to get out of my own selfish way in order to follow the way of my humble Lord Jesus. Oh, how I desire, as this passage in Colossians requests, to know God’s good and perfect will for my life and to walk it out faithfully by the grace of His wisdom and understanding. When a difficult or controversial issue arises, I want to respond as He would, with grace and truth. When I feel stumped in how to parent (which happens often) and am prone to anger or thoughts of giving up, I desire the wisdom of my Heavenly Father, who knows the hearts of both myself and my children, forgives us, loves us, and has the ability to change and grow us more into His wonderful likeness. When I feel inadequate as a friend, wife, leader, broker, or neighbor, I want to rest in the knowledge that I am always going to come up short when I do things on my own strength. But, because of Jesus and what He has done for me, I am a beloved daughter of a Heavenly King, who died for my sins and rose again to life so my insufficiencies would be covered by His sufficiency—my limited strength replaced by His boundless strength (2 Corinthians 3:4-5).
I’m praying this year that I may live filled with His endurance, patience, and joy, giving thanks to Him always for the hope He has given and the love He showers on me. For, as verse 13 says, He has indeed delivered me from darkness and transferred me into His beautiful light, through Jesus. I want to walk in that light daily and hope reading these verses regularly will be an encouragement to me as I try to do so. May it be an encouragement to each of you as well! If you are focusing on a yearly verse or mantra this year, or if you’ve set some resolutions you are excited about, I’d love to hear them and pray along with you that the Lord would give you strength to see them through! Many blessings to each of you in this New Year!