Hope For The New Year

Happy New Year! How did we get to 2023 already? I hope you enjoyed Christmas and had some special times with family and friends.

The start of another year is the time when many of us set goals, make resolutions, or choose a word to focus on in the coming year.

Often, I find that helpful. I like to plan and dream about what lies ahead. But, if I’m honest, as I stood at the end of 2022 thinking about the year ahead, there was more fear than anticipation. The last few years have brought so many unexpected and unwelcome twists and turns, and it has left me tired and anxious, fearful of the uncertainty. The thought of setting lofty goals or resolutions, or even choosing a word, just feels like too much.

I’m grateful though, that over the last week or so, as I’ve had a slightly quieter week and the chance to reflect, God has led me to various quotes and songs that have restored my hope for the coming year, so I thought I’d share them here.

I wish I could remember where I found the first quote I’m thinking of. It was in a blog post, but I can’t find it now. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the actual quote, but I can remember the point it made: just as the year ahead will contain unexpected challenges, it will also contain unexpected blessings. I tend to look at the unknown as a bad thing or as something to fear, but this was a great reminder that the unknown can also be good. Who knows what exciting surprises God may have in store for us in 2023?

Another thing that has encouraged me is the poem “God Knows” by Minnie Louise Haskins. The first part of it is quite well-known (at least in the UK) as it was quoted by Queen Elizabeth in one of her Christmas speeches. However, I don’t think I had ever read the full poem until now.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill
.

Finally, here are a few songs that have encouraged me recently:

Christ Our Hope In Life And Death by Keith and Kristyn Getty

What is our hope in life and death?
Christ alone, Christ alone
What is our only confidence?
That our souls to him belong

Who holds our days within his hand?
What comes, apart from his command?
And what will keep us to the end?
The love of Christ, in which we stand.

The Answer Is Yes by Matt Maher

Where else can I turn
In these troubled times
When my joy is held by suffering
And sorrows last the night

The answer is yes, Lord
I’ll give you my heart
The answer is yes, Lord
It’s the only place to start
You’ve seen me through good times
You’ve held me through pain
You’ve heard all my questions
The answer’s the same

Always by Chris Tomlin

I will tell of Your wonders
Sing of Your grace
The God of creation knows me by name
The Lord is faithful yesterday, now, and always
Always

I pray that you’ll be encouraged that, whatever we may face in 2023, we have a God who sees and cares, who goes before us and is with us.

May you know his presence and his blessing in the coming year!

Linking with: Inspire Me Monday, Tell His StoryInstaEncouragementsLet’s Have CoffeeRecharge WednesdayTune In ThursdayGrace & Truth

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25 thoughts on “Hope For The New Year

  1. My “what ifs” tends toward bad possibilities rather than good ones, too. It’s good to remember God has blessings in store–even in the midst of the bad things.

    I enjoyed reading that poem! I’ve heard the phrase “safer than a known way,” but didn’t know it came from a poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really enjoyed that poem – it was a new one to me, but full of great thoughts! The unexpected blessings and challenges reminded me of a post I wrote just over a week ago, reflecting on the many unexpected things that happened in my life over the past year. Perhaps one of the quotes I used in that article is what you were thinking of. Learning to see the possibilities and positives in unexpected challenges is a life skill God is teaching me every day. Visiting from IMM#10

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, Lesley … I’m sorry for the fear you were feeling as 2022 ended. I was not familiar with the poem you shared either, and I LOVE it! I hope 2023 holds many special blessings for you, including an ever-present awareness of God’s love and protection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary. I agree, it is very comforting to know that God knows what lies ahead and it is all in his hands. I pray that you know hope and joy in the coming year.

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  4. Lesley, I think it is easy for many of us to face the days ahead with some level of fear or anxiety. I remember the day after 9/11 occurred, Chuck Swindoll in his radio program saying he was being asked where was God. I have never forgotten his response – God is where He has always been – on His throne. He never has, nor will, vacate His throne. His response has brought me peace many times since then and to this day. May we always remember our God is sovereign – Always.
    PS – I love that song 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lesley, rejoicing in the way God breathed Hope into your being for the New Year. I understand ending 2022 with mixed feelings, as I ended 2022 on a downward spiral too.
    I’m looking forward to walking through 2023 with my One Word Hope, as God helps me reframe what seems painful or frustrating through His lens!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Donna! I’m sorry the end of 2022 was tough for you too. Praying that you will know new hope in the coming year. I look forward to reading your reflections.

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  6. I hear you here Lesley! The past few years have been very difficult years indeed!

    And they have set up an anxiety for what may come unexpectedly in the coming year.

    I’m always comforted in knowing that Jesus has already gone ahead & no matter what comes my way He already knows the beginning from the end.
    And will be there with me every step of the wayvas He always has been. Praise Him!
    Bless you in this new year,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! It is very reassuring to know that God sees the path ahead and that he will be with us whatever it looks like. Praying that you know God’s blessings and presence in this new year.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Lesley, I enjoyed the poem, songs, and your words. I have a writer friend who reminds me when I’m concerned over the unknown with her statement, “I can’t wait to see what God is going to do.” That pretty much sums it up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry for all the unexpected and unwelcome twists and turns in your life that leave you fearful and uncertain, Lesley. I pray God will give you comfort and strength. I LOVE that poem “God Knows.” Thank you for sharing this encouraging truth. Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can’t imagine the original quote saying it any better than you have, Lesley: “just as the year ahead will contain unexpected challenges, it will also contain unexpected blessings. I tend to look at the unknown as a bad thing or as something to fear, but this was a great reminder that the unknown can also be good.” I need to hear this myself! I tend to dread the unknown, too, but you’re right that God often brings surprise blessings through the unknown!

    Liked by 1 person

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