Today is December 31, 2013. Today is a day of reflection as well as anticipation. Reflection on all the things that have taken place during 2013. Trips to Virginia Beach to visit my daughter, her husband, and my two wonderful grandsons. A trip with my son flying to Chicago to be with my oldest daughter and help her get settled in her new office. A trip to Colorado to visit all the relatives on both sides of the family. Weekends driving to cool Flagstaff. Having family come in from across the country to celebrate birthdays and special holidays. Reflecting on what the Lord has done in my life and in the lives of my family members. Answered prayers over the year and the faithfulness of our Lord and Savior in continuing to guide and direct my steps. Remembering some of my close friends who lost loved ones and the feelings of sadness and loss for their loss. Hearing the news that one of our children are adding to our family sometime this coming August. The bitter/sweet news yesterday of having Deborah, my daughter, being here for Christmas but hearing that her dog has cancer and only has 3-6 months to live. When we reflect over the year, it has it’s sweetness as well as it’s bitterness.
Yet I am reminded that tomorrow starts a new year for all of us with opportunities to impact our world with the choices that we make during 2014. As I was finishing reading the bible through again in 2013, I came across John’s letter to us that brought encouraging words to me. He says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (I John 5:14-15) There are two “if’s” in this passage. The first “if” is asking anything according to His will. When we pray, John is making sure that when we pray it is according to His will. His will is found in reading the bible and praying according to what He says in the Word. When we see promises or structures for family life woven throughout the bible, we have confidence that God’s will is being communicated. The second “if” involves our faith to believe that He hears us. We have to have the faith in God that He has the ability and power to answer our prayers when it is according to His will. We have two responsibilities: 1) to have our prayers line up according to His will, and 2) to believe that He hears us. His response in this passage is to answer our prayers.
What are you believing God for this year? What do you want God to do in your life or in the lives of your loved ones? Is it according to His will? Do you believe that He hears you? I am trusting God to do something this year He impressed on my heart to pray for. Today is a good time to do some reflection over your life. It is also a time to think about the coming year and trust Him to do something in 2014 that is according to His will and your belief that He will do it. If you are having difficulty in knowing what God’s will is, it might be helpful to pick up the bible and begin reading it on a daily basis to begin to understand what His will is. If you are having difficulty in trusting Him, it might be helpful to tell Him that you need help in your unbelief.
May this journey of 2014 be one that you look back on with joy and thankfulness as you see Him answer your prayers for the coming year.