A Word of Hope

by Crystal Bowman

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. Psalm 33:18 NIV

It’s become sort of trendy to choose a word or phrase to focus on for the coming year. Maybe you’ve been doing this for years, or maybe this is new to you. Either way, I like this idea. The phrase I picked for 2020 was hang in there. In the fall of 2019, we had some sudden and unexpected changes in our lives, and I knew the adjustment to these changes would be long and hard. We had to leave our home in paradise (Florida) and return to our home in the Midwest for a variety of reasons. I was doing my best to “hang in there.” Then the pandemic reached the US and once again I was adjusting to sudden and unexpected changes.

Along with my 2020 phrase, I also chose a Bible verse: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

I taped the verse to my bathroom mirror and read it every day. During the months of 2020, I had multiple reasons to be anxious and worried about the future. But every day, as I soaked in the words to that verse and chose to thank God, His peace filled my soul.

In John chapter 14, Jesus begins preparing His disciples for His departure. Since He would not be with them much longer, He offered words of comfort and the promise of the Holy Spirit. He knew they would be troubled because they didn’t understand all that would soon take place. He explained that the Holy Spirit would help them remember Jesus’s words and instructions. I love what Jesus says to them in verse 27 (NIV): “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The peace we receive from the Holy Spirit in the midst of our anxious moments is a peace that we can’t explain. This peace does not come from the world, it only comes through faith. Even when troubles swirl around us like an F-5 tornado, we can experience inner peace when we belong to Jesus.

I began 2021 with a new word to focus on. That word is hope. There are two definitions of the word hope. One is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. The second definition is a feeling of trust. I chose the second. I trust that God will continue to be my source of strength and peace in the coming year. I trust that my life is in His hands and that nothing will happen to me outside of His will.

My Bible verse to focus on this year is Hebrews 10:23 NIV: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Do you have a word or verse for 2021? I’d love for you to share in the comment section below. May God richly bless you in the coming year and fill your life with peace, hope, and joy. 

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books including, Our Daily Bread for Kids.She and her husband have three married children and seven huggable grandchildren.

When a child’s grandparent or great-grandparent is afflicted with dementia, it’s difficult to explain the disease in a way that helps the child understand why the person they love is not the same. I Love You to the Stars–When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembersis a picture book inspired by a true story to help young children understand that even though Grandma is acting differently, she still loves them–to the stars!

Join the conversation: What is your word for 2021?

6 thoughts on “A Word of Hope

  1. My word for 2021 is Encouragement. I’m refining my ministry focus and activities. Everything the Lord is pointing me to deals with how to encourage others AND to humble myself enough to accept real encouragement from others. My default mode seems to be “go it alone” but that’s not what I see modeled by Jesus so that’s my cue to change. Encouragement is a two-way street, and that’s going to be my focus in 2021. (I just added it to my planner—now I have to!)

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    1. Encouragement is a wonderful word and I love your reasons for choosing that word. May you be encouraged as you encourage others.

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  2. Crystal, I love your important information that hope is also a sense of trust. I can see that. Hope is resting in, trusting in. Thank you!

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  3. Crystal, that was such a comforting devotion for the day! Thank you. The word the Lord keeps giving me is “STAY”. We are nearing retirement, and it would be so nice to live some place warmer than Montana! But the Lord unexpectedly opened a door for me to help our Native Americans on the Montana reservations a couple of years ago. They have been a forgotten people. I’ve showered them with copies of my children’s book on salvation (The Prince and the Plan). Reports are starting to trickle in that some of the Native people are responding to the gospel now. The Lord has let me know that I am to stay put. At least for now. There is a harvest growing. He wants me here.
    Sheri

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    1. It sounds like you are clearly hearing God’s voice. “Stay” is a good word! You have an important ministry to the people in your community.

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