Have you ever entered a new year needing more than usual for your hopes and plans to come through?
I’ve been there.
In the end of December in 2015, I was looking forward to graduating from high school soon and entering a brave new world. My biggest hopes included turning 18, staying in beautiful London for my senior trip, graduating high school, and starting at the dream SEC college I had wanted to attend since I was a child.
My prayer for that year looked somewhat like this:
Father, this upcoming year is full of excitement and hope. Allow me to trust in Your will for me, but I want to put my hope in my circumstances and myself because I believe they are unchanging and sufficient.
In that season, the weight of the world felt like it all balanced on me. My present and soon to be circumstances of traveling and starting and ending at schools felt permanent, and I felt like my knowledge and strength were sufficient. I held tightly onto the little hope of what I knew about what was coming and myself. My desire was for those plans to go accordingly to how I expected that year and hope that they won’t change or fail me. I forgot those seasons were temporary and passing. I had forgotten who my Ultimate Hope was and the fact that God never changes.
He is permanent.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
I have never been a huge fan of change unless it was something I planned or desired. Change is scary, and I frequently forget how temporary circumstances and seasons really are.
Seasons change, feelings change, and people change. Change is inevitable. We live in a world that is temporary and can change instantly. In those moments of confusion and holding tightly to what I knew, I wish I remembered that our God is trustworthy and sovereign. His promises and His Word remain true even when we doubt them.
Our hope does not lie in other people, ourselves, or even the person we hope to become. Our hope is not that things will work out the way we wish or that our lives will turn out to be like the ways we wanted. Our true hope rests in the One who kept and always keeps His promises. He has been there since the beginning. He is the only permanent One.
Most likely this year we will have times when we doubt, lose hope, and can’t figure out the answers to our questions. We may even feel like there are missing pieces to the puzzle. In a world that is constantly changing around us, God’s Word tells us to “hold on to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). And we can remember this truth: He is permanent, and His Truth has been and will always be true.
“The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of our God remains forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
My hope for you and me this year is that we would remember where our true hope rests: in the One who is Permanent and promises to never leave us.
Question: In what areas of your life do you believe you are placing your hope in? Why do these things never last? How can we be reminded of the truth that our God is permanent and never changes?