We enter 2016 with an idea of newness on our hearts and resolutions on our minds. It’s the season of change and improvement, but sometimes that doesn’t go as planned.
It’s almost the end of January, and maybe your heart is already weary.
Maybe you’re already tired and worn-out, counting down the days until another fresh start.
Maybe you’ve faced more endings than beginnings so far this year, and you’re wondering why you’re left feeling empty in this season of fullness.
In our fierce pursuit of resolutions, I fear we’re missing the wild and endless love of God. As we seek our desires to make ourselves better and greater — new and improved — I wonder if we might be missing our purpose this year (and every year) which is to make His name the highest.
Because of this, I think we’re all in need of the promise of our Savior’s endless grace and a new starting place where declaring the glory of God becomes the desire of our hearts. Psalm 100 is becoming my battle cry on this subject, and it can be yours, too.
So to every one of us who needs a reminder to refocus on our Heavenly Father’s reckless love,
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He Who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
With this promise of God in mind throughout the year, may we shout for joy. May we allow His praise to be present on our lips as we come before Him with worship and recognition of His holiness. He surrounds us with a song, and may our response to Him be a love song in return, welcoming and drawing close to Him. May we find the song and as we discover it, may we worship Him with gladness. We are so covered, so loved, so constantly cared for. May we embrace the fact this year that we have nothing to fear and live courageously with hearts overflowing with joy and praise.
May we know that the Lord is God and not forget who our Father is. The God Who sprinkled the stars across the sky, Who paints every single sunset, Who formed the mountains and filled the oceans, Who sent His precious Son to this earth for lowly and wretched sinners — that God calls us by name and makes us His children. He’s still saying, “take heart,” even if His voice is the faintest whisper as well as when it’s the loudest roar. He is God, He is good, and He is mighty.
As we recognize Who our Father is this year, may we also keep in mind to Whom we belong. He made us! We are His! We are HIS people! The sheep of HIS Pasture!
How phenomenal is this?! We are imago dei, designed in His image. We bear the attributes and face of God. As His children, we are called to glorify Him. As His sheep, we are designed to follow our Shepherd. His sheep know His voice. No matter the dry season, the barren desert, the streams of flourishing, may we pursue His lead and His path fervently and wholeheartedly.
This year, may we have the courage to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. May we have hearts open to give thanks to Him and praise His name. God is our refuge. He offers us a home, a place of rest, a safe haven of freedom. How can we not offer Him the gratitude and worship He deserves in return for such grace?
May we rest in the fact that the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. He never lets us down. No matter what happens in the following days, may we cling to the fact that we are His sheep. He never stops loving us, never stops guiding us, no matter the trial, no matter the pain, no matter the storm.
May this year be God’s, not ours, not our desires, but His. It’s all His.
Abba Father, we are Your sheep. Lead us. Help us have eyes wide open, ears wide open, hearts abandoned to YOU and Your reckless love.
-Sydney Hornsby // @sydney_hornsby