It is that time of the year when people evaluate the last twelve months of their lives and plan for the next twelve.
I am in a reflective season myself, thinking about the dreams that came to pass in 2016, and those that did not.
This was the year I hoped to publish two more books, register our non-profit work, do marriage/business conferences with my husband, travel outside the US for vacation and start Intentional Today gatherings, among other things.
But these goals are rolling into 2017, largely unfulfilled.
I was pondering over my unmet aspirations and remembered something a pastor’s wife said many years ago. She said,
Yearly calendars do not limit God.
We tend to look at December like the end of the road; we plan for twelve months and feel like failures when we cross the finish line, still clutching our dreams.
The pastor’s wife suggested,
What if we looked at January like a continuation of December?
Realize that God is not limited by time. Seasons and timings are a big deal to us (rightfully so), but God lives far above them!
Instead of spending this time of the year worrying about unfulfilled expectations, we should expend more energy towards thanking God for the successes of the last twelve months!
And trust Him to fulfill the rest of His promises in His time.
Planning and focusing our energy is essential but often we put too much emphasis on timing and not enough on God’s sovereignty and ability to redeem the time.
There’s nothing wrong with a plan, nothing wrong with creating goals and changing habits that will help us move closer to our vision.
But earthly calendars are just that; formulations to help us live more fully.
They are not meant to rule over us or terrify us. God controls time; what we cannot wrap our minds around, He does. And He has a plan.
As 2016 comes to a close, I am determined to sign off with a shout of joy and expectant hope!
Why joy? Because God gave me more than I dreamed or deserved in 2016!
He blessed me with life, salvation, and a happy marriage. I checked off many other goals, like consistent exercise (physical and spiritual), missions events in Kenya, a new laptop, two manuscripts written (and more resource ideas), a successful relocation, a new church family and friends, growth in ministry and so much more!
Why hope? Because Philippians 4:6- 7
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus – as I pray over the unmet dreams AND thank God for what He did in 2016, He releases a supernatural joy and faith for the coming year!
It’s the kind of hope that defies human calculation, the kind that comes only through prayer and gratitude.
I want to encourage you (and myself) as we reach the end of 2016 – God is not done with you yet.
He is not done with your marriage. He is not done with your life. If you are single, He sees your desire for a husband; He knows your longing. He is in control, even when situations feel out of control.
If we believe what God says is true, if we trust His word is true, what kind of people ought we to be? How should we act, what should we be saying? How should we be ordering lives?
1 Allow hope to birth big expectation!
but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. Hebrews 4: 2b
The promise of God while powerful, cannot work in our lives unless we believe it! And go high in our belief!
I want to be the kind of person who actively pursues God, intentionally stays on course and refuses to yield to fear and anxiety.
We serve an exuberant God, and my faith needs to be up there, measuring up to His generosity and not bowing low to my inabilities.
2. The kind of person who agrees with God – who declares life, not defeat.
The tongue has the power of life and death, Proverbs 18:21
We need to be the kind of people who watch our words, who learn to “zip it” when there’s nothing life-giving to say.
3. One that notices what God has already done and cultivates an attitude of gratitude.
Please read this post on how God is transforming my heart in this area.
From my family to yours, have a super blessed Christ-centered Christmas! May God increase your capacity for 2017! Can’t wait to see what He has in store for all of us! If you need agreement prayer over any one of your goals and dreams for 2016/2017, let me know via my contact form and I’ll pray with you.
I am taking a Christmas break from blogging and will be back in mid January. God bless you both!