In Our Hopes and Dreams December 25-29
Almost every person lives with hopes and dreams. We hope for something that will bring more joy and peace to our lives. However, we often find ourselves putting our hope in the wrong things, like relationships, romance, and revenue as we dream of better days and a successful life for ourselves and for those we love. But the way we measure personal success is different from God’s perspective, and what we hope for and dream of may not align with God’s vision for our life. As we linger in the last hours of this year and think about the upcoming days of a new year, it is to our benefit to keep our hopes and dreams rooted in God alone, who gives us peace for each day. Be certain that whatever the year ahead holds, He will be with you.
Day 1 Jeremiah 29:10-14
Reflect: What do you learn about God in this text? We often quote verse 11, but skip over its context. How do the other verses change the truth and impact of it?
Apply: When have you found yourself in an “exile” season, either because of your sin or the sin of others? What helped you through it? How did you stay hopeful of the future?
Pray: Father, I know my future with You will be wondrous beyond earthly understanding. Until then, help me to seek You faithfully with all my heart, and live as a blessing to others.
Day 2 Proverbs 3:5-18
Reflect: In this text, what speaks loudest to you, especially in light of a new year about to begin? How has divine wisdom guided you? In what area of your life do you need more wisdom?
Apply: How are you with seeking God’s will over your own? Do you more often find yourself asking God to bless your plans, or do you invite Him to reveal His plans for you?
Pray: Lord, help me to not rely on my own understanding but on Your infinite knowledge and love. I surrender my plans, desires, and ambitions to You, knowing that Your ways are higher and wiser than mine.
Day 3 Psalm 33:10-22
Reflect: What more do you learn about making plans? How do you understand hope? How do we experience and enjoy confident hope?
Apply: When and why has God foiled your plans? What did you learn? When God looks down on you, what does He see (verses 13-15)? What needs to change for you to more greatly fear God?
Pray: Father, I proclaim my hope is in You. My hope is not in my gifts, my effort, my holiness, my blessings. I claim Your promise that You “never fail the one who trusts in You.”
Day 4 Jeremiah 17:5-8
Reflect: What happens when our trust is misplaced? Practically speaking, how would one’s life look as described in verses 7-8? How confident are you in the Lord? Why or why not?
Apply: What do we gain and lose by trusting ourselves, or others, more than God? If you added “Develop more trust in God” to your 2024 goals, how would you do this?
Pray: Jesus, You have all I need to stand firm in this broken world. No matter what difficulties arise, I can draw all my hope and strength from You. May I live a life that honors You.
Day 5 Philippians 4:4-8
Reflect: How are peace, hope, and joy connected with our thought life? What would be different if God’s peace was the guard at the door of your heart and your mind?
Apply: How would you turn this passage into a New Year’s Resolution? How can you change your thought patterns? Who or what do you need to put in God’s hands this year?
Pray: God, as I go into this new year, I put my life in Your hands, knowing You are in control. I want to be found faithful in every opportunity You bring, confident in Your plan and in Your love. Lord, thank You for new beginnings.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 5: In Our Hopes and Dreams
When making goals or plans for 2024, start with asking God to reveal what He wants you to continue doing, stop doing, and the new things He may want you to begin doing that will bring Him glory and be a benefit to you and others.