As I’ve perused best and worst lists of the past decade, and political and economic journalists doling out grim forecasts for Ukraine I have reflected and thought about having great expectations for the next decade.
What were your memorable moments and milestones of the past decade? What are you looking forward to in the next? Do you think the best days are in the past?
If so, I pray God will lift you up to a place of faith and hunger for Him. It is far better to start the day with joyful expectation of the goodness of God, daring to believe, dream and walk it out by faith. Let’s cultivate the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning, but not for material things.
I was thinking about momentum and what is the impetus that sets life in motion in a positive direction. And then what causes life to continue in motion towards something positive without detours or bad trips to undesirable places, no stopping by the side of the road with head down in despair. And it seemed faith was the impetus. But then there seemed to be something more fundamental, more raw and essential. And that essential is the heart captured in worship of God and all that He is in His greatness and lovingkindness. Then faith to do a certain thing or move forward in a specific direction has its place because we are close enough to God to know His heartbeat and fight discouragement. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
But I didn’t stay there. I began to think about what keeps people from that fundamental place of living out a life of devotion to God, being satisfied in Him. So that led me to think about hunger itself. Every human being on the face of the earth hungers in their soul. So the question is, what do you pursue and does it make you dull towards God? If you seek satisfaction in things other than God (material possessions, personal success, status, harmful addictions, etc.) you may not realize your deficit at first, but they will leave you empty.
So I leave you with a challenge: Don’t start with the usual New Year’s resolutions or goal-setting. Begin the year by setting your heart right. Consider praying and fasting and commit to the basics, like reading the Bible. When our hearts are rightly set, good things will follow and we can recognize them.
Do those things that cause you to flourish in God.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!” (Psalm 31:24)