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by Lindy @ DaySpring December 26, 2015
Christmas is over. (Deep breath.) Another season of rejoicing in the birth of the Savior has come and gone. We are packing away our decorations, unstringing lights and taking Christmas music off our playlists, while the kids are in the other room playing with new toys. We are all ready for a bit of rest from the celebrations, cooking, traveling and the joyful busyness of the holiday. The New Year is upon us - an amazing opportunity to rest, reflect and pray for renewal for the year ahead.
Rest - “Come to me, all those who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
As strange as it sounds in a culture that pushes activity, the Lord calls us to rest. After celebrating Jesus’ birth in such glorious (but likely tiring) fashion, what blessing it is to simply sit, take a breath and rest. Rest in who He is, what He is doing and what He has done for us this year. How? He may call us to rest in Him in so many ways, by switching off devices, perhaps opening our Bible or journal in the peace of the morning or just simply sitting in quiet prayer are all great ways to start.
Reflect - “I will meditate on your wonderful works.” (Psalms 145:5b) A new year is an opportune time to reflect on how the Lord has worked in and around us. Take note of what He has done with a sense of gratitude. Pray with an honest and open heart about any ongoing difficulties, and talk with God as you remember moments that have changed you or have shown you more of Jesus. And for those who blessed you this year, take an opportunity to send a thank you card or a note or gift of encouragement to thank them.
Renew - Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” The new year is dawning, and maybe it’s time for a new, or renewed, you. As we pray for and seek renewal, we are called to place our hope in the Lord. Reminding ourselves of where our hope lies, praying without ceasing, fixing our thoughts on things above and not on earthly troubles - these are among the many ways we can seek the kind of renewal that only comes from Christ.
Let's trek into 2016 with a fervor and hope for what the new year holds! Let's seek and pray for rest, reflection and renewal as we - through grace and faith - strive to walk according to His will.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB