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Hope For The New Year

CC Photo Courtesy of Tony Fischer via Flickr
CC Photo Courtesy of Tony Fischer via Flickr

Anything can happen today.

As I think about the New Year ahead, I am overwhelmed with the possibilities. The anticipation of the good to come sets my soul soaring.

Everything is possible.

Life is a recurring cycle of waiting … then, suddenly. We hope for a change … salvation for a family member, financial provision, a relationship to be restored or finding a job.  We wait and pray.  Sometimes we just wait and sometimes we work really hard for it. Then, suddenly one day the change is visible. We see the start of our family member’s heart softening, or the full salvation. Financial provision comes again. The relationship that’s so important to us is shifting towards connection again. The job we hope for comes.

Hope: The anticipation of the good to come! There are so many good “suddenlies” coming your way. We have a good God who has good in store for you.

We can be sure of it because of what He told us in Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Prosper is a great word. We all want to prosper. But the Hebrew word they replaced “prosper” with is more …

Shalom (shah-loam); Hebrew meaning: complete wholeness, peace, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

That’s even better! It’s okay to be sure of the God dreams we hope for.

Anticipate it. Dwell on the good that you dream about. Agree with the Lord on the goodness to come. He’s told us to do just that …

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8-9)

As you look forward to the New Year, what do you hope for? What good do you want to have happen this year? Dream with Him. What do you hope can be a reality in 2014? He has told us to ask of Him. What if you wrote down 20 dreams for this year, and 10 of them happened that quickly? What if you wrote down zero? You would get what you asked for!

Some dreams we wait a long time for.

Not long ago I lived in a wonderful town in Oregon, owned a gorgeous house and had incredible friends. Yet God was stirring in me a desire to move on, to have more of Him, which for me led to a different location. So I put my house on the market. My passion for God and desire for change was strong, so I was excited to sell my house so I could head in that direction. I waited, prayed, held hope, waited some more, agreed with God on His great plan for me and waited even longer. Then suddenly, three years later, the house sold.

Three years later? My answer to His call and the passion I had to follow Him had NOW on it. Yet it was three years before the house sold. But now I sit on the other side, in a new town where I am getting to thrive, develop in ways I had no idea about, and participate in an incredible, supernatural community. From this viewpoint I can say, “It’s worth the wait.” And from this place, I view the new things I long for. They will come. It’s not “if,” it’s “when.” After the waiting … it comes suddenly.

God dreams come true. They are worth waiting for. He answers hope for the new year. Just keep it up … keep working toward your dreams, and keep hoping in Him. You have permission. Because suddenly

About the author

 Shelly McCandliss has poured her life into her family, faith and relationships! She is passionate about truth and especially anointed to help people find their freedom in Christ. She is gifted as a teacher and convicted not only to communicate truth but to help people experience transformation in a conference or small group setting. Shelly is the author of Time with Jesus: Help Children Build their Own History with God and the upcoming book, For Brady, You Do Hear His Voice?  She lives in Redding, California, where she loves teaching, writing, running, rock-climbing and enjoying life with her husband, Cory, and their two boys, Brennan and Caleb.
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