Hope seems to be on our mind constantly at the start of each year. It’s a time where we can believe in ourselves to achieve great things and we believe we can see transformation in our lives and even believe we can finally have the healthy lifestyle we really want.
January and February really bring out the hopeful side of us. We believe for great things and can see the ‘what could be’ for the end of the year. Why? Why is it so different at the beginning of the year from the middle?
I think a lot of the reason comes through reflection of the year before. When we look at our lives now and put it back-to-back with this time last year we can see all the lessons we’ve learnt and decisions we’ve made to get ourselves to this point and the hard work in the middle is not only worth it but it’s not as bad in hindsight as it seemed at the time.
At the start of every year we see dreams, this goal, this unique perspective, but we can start to lose hope as the year goes on and by September we’re looking at the last leg of the year with a longing for the end. But this doesn’t have to be the routine we accept for our lives.
Remember your hopeful heart
We need to remember our excitement, our faith, our belief in ourselves. The fresh start is exciting, but it’s the process through it that makes the biggest impact throughout the year. If we look at the year that’s been and the lessons we’ve learnt, we can see the result as a substantial and beneficial lesson, but in the middle of the lesson it was much less clear.
I often get caught up in the ‘here and now’ details and lose sight of the big picture, the end result, the dream. I know a lot of people who look at the big vision, the big dream, almost to the point of forgetting the day-to-day details and I can almost envy that mindset.
We can look at the bad day we’ve had and get a cloudy vision. A bad day makes you believe that nothing has worked and nothing is moving forward or nothing ever will! We’ve got to remind ourselves that the ‘January me’ would have believed I could do this, and I always find that perspective helps me to remember why I want to push through the bad ‘cloudy’ days.
Remember God’s hope in you
In the same way, when situations are looking dim, it’s important to remember the vision we had for our lives at the start of the year—it’s important to remember who God has called us to be when our day is looking not so great.
When I’m feeling defeated, God’s calls me a conqueror (Romans chapter 8, verse 37)
When I feel ashamed, Jesus washes me clean (1 John chapter 1, verse 9)
When I feel trapped, He sets me free (2 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 17)
When I feel weak, He renews my strength (Psalms chapter 46, verse 1)
When I’m feeling unloved, He loves me unconditionally (Romans chapter 8, verses 38-39)
It’s difficult to think that even in my worst days, in the times that I’ve made mistakes, in my saddest moments, in my weakest state – God actually sees me the same. He doesn’t change his mind, He’s not surprised by my weaknesses, but He loves me and believes I can do more.
If GOD believes in me, how much more so can I believe in myself. I think it’s such a disadvantage to see yourself as small, unqualified, undeserving. Yes, we owe it all to God, yes, we would be nothing without His strength and joy, but it doesn’t downplay God to believe we can do and be great, in fact it shows God as more glorious.
We know, it’s because of Him that I’m full of joy, it’s because of Him that I can be gracious, it’s because of Him that I’m given incredible opportunity. It’s all because of Him that I can be influential, I can have a larger impact, I can make a difference.
In the same way that we look at our lives in January with hope and faith, God sees you for more always. The lie that you’re worthless, insignificant, shameful, weak is not how God sees us at all, so why would we let that determine how we live our lives. We can be full of hope because God instils hope in our heart to believe more for our lives, to live greater lives and to have faith in the person He’s calling us to be.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and now grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah chapter 40, verse 31)
Rochelle Ross lives on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She loves people, the moon, dirty food and Jesus and is very passionate about seeing young people know the love of God. She works as a Plastering Assistant during the week and a Personal Assistant to the youth pastors and is eager to learn, love and share people’s stories and her own life lessons.
Rochelle Ross lives on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She loves people, the moon, dirty food and Jesus and is very passionate about seeing young people know God. She loves a great story and one day wants to write about people’s lives and achievements.