By Bethany Verrett, Crosswalk.com
A new year, for many people, is a time to recommit themselves to long-standing goals. Whether you have New Year’s resolutions or not, it is a great time to dive deep into God’s Word. Some people pick a reading plan. Others find themes they want to explore. No matter what approach, the Bible is full of verses and promises that can be especially poignant and potent during at the start of a new calendar.
Spiritually fortifying oneself at the beginning of the year can aid in rising to challenges, feeling the Holy Spirit, and growing closer to Jesus Christ. The Lord uses even the smallest verses in the Bible.
Whether beginning in Genesis, or working backwards from Revelation, having Bible verses to strengthen the spirit is always an important part of the Christian walk.
Here are twelve verses to start the New Year strong.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
At the beginning of the year, it is good to be reminded that God is eternally merciful, and renews His love for us over and over again. He is our portion for our daily needs, and carrying that hope into the new year will provide strength and courage to face trials.
2. Isaiah 43:19
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
The Lord is making a new creation in the believer. Whether or not that is immediately apparent, God is turning each one of His children into a more righteous individual. He will change circumstances as well. If things are bad right now, it will get better. If God can part the Red Sea, resurrect the dead, and put rivers in the desert, He can and will work all things for His children’s good and His glory.
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“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What a wonderful reminder that Christians should always go to God praising Him, and can always go to Him with needs and requests. Especially after the rush of the holidays, resetting our minds to thank God and go to Him in thankfulness for another year is a great reminder, and seeking peace of God is a great New Year’s resolution.
“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.”
While there may not be many professional shepherds these days, the sentiment is nonetheless important today. In essence, it is a reminder to be responsible with that which God has blessed the individual. In the New Year, find the resolve to be more responsible with money, take better care of clothing, and value God’s blessings more.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Another good verse that can substitute as a New Year’s resolution. Often, getting stronger requires humility. This year, trust in God’s strength rather than your own. Follow the Lord’s path. Acknowledge God’s sovereignty this year and find spiritual renewal and purpose.
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the laws. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
While every person will die once, sin and death have no power over the people who have new life in Christ. When facing the New Year, walk into it with confidence knowing the battle is won!
“For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
This year, some Christians will face persecution for their faith. It may be mockery or losing a job opportunity, or it may be loss of family and jail. No matter what may come, use everything and anything, including the hardships, to draw closer to and glorify the Lord Jesus. When we are little, God’s greatness shines brighter, and He cares for His own.
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“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
This verse is a great reminder for the New Year that God gifted His children with courage, power, love, and self-control. Often, people struggle to possess and embody these character traits. It need not be as difficult. Strive to rely on the Lord more this year for betterment.
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
Priorities can get thrown off by things that, in the grand scheme of eternity, are not very important. Be in God’s presence continually, at work, with family, alone, and during personal highs and lows. A New Year means new chances to seek God’s presence.
10. Mark 12:30-31
“ And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength...you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.’”
Some of the best sources of hope and strength are the words of Jesus Christ himself from the Gospels. This verse reminds us of what Christians are called to, which is to love the Lord and to love others. Refocusing on what God wants from us can help put the New Year in focus, and hep us re-evaluate our priorities
11. Romans 1:16
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Bolster yourself for the New Year with one of the Apostle Paul’s boldest statements. There is no reason to feel ashamed of the Gospel! So go into the New Year boldly proclaiming the Gospel to the world! Rely on the Spirit to lead you to people who are open to the truth, and share the good news of Jesus Christ to your neighbor, your co-worker, and those who need to know Jesus personally.
“ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm."
What a better verse for strength in the New Year than the one that calls us to take up the armor of God for victory in our spiritual battles? Every day is a chance for new triumphs over ourselves, over Satan, and for Christ. Our leader and Savior has won the great victory, and if we lean on Him, we shall have victory as well.
Every day is a gift from the Lord, and His Word is one of our greatest tools for approaching the day with strength and victory. Turn to the Lord in all things, and He will carry you through the New Year.
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Bethany Verrett is a freelance writer and editor. She maintains a faith and lifestyle blog graceandgrowing.com, where she muses about the Lord, life, culture, and ministry.
Bethany Verrett is a freelance writer who uses her passion for God, reading, and writing to glorify God. She and her husband have lived all over the country serving their Lord and Savior in ministry. She has a blog on graceandgrowing.com.