Are You Listening to the Guide?

by Nancy Kay Grace

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 NIV

I’ll admit it—waiting is hard. I don’t like waiting in line at the checkout, the doctor’s office, for test results, or for Christmas. We get impatient and take a different street if there’s a red light. We look for the shorter line at the toll booth.

Some things are better if we wait. The flavors of a stew blend when we wait for it to be done. We appreciate things more if we wait for then to finish.

Although waiting requires effort, we can learn to give thanks for the discipline of waiting.

My husband, Rick, and I took a few days away so he could go fly fishing with a guide. The river was so clear that trout were easily spotted under the surface. The guide watched and pointed them out. We waited for the right time to cast. On our own, we didn’t have any success catching fish. The guide watched our mistakes, and then taught us what to do.

He stood behind Rick’s shoulder and instructed him in a quiet voice on how and where to cast the fly. Rick cast the line fifteen feet out in the water, it floated down to the fish, and the fish bit on it! The fish swam downstream to get free, but succeeded in setting the hook.

Rick and the guide worked together for longer than five minutes. The guide walked downstream with a net, far enough that he came upon the fish and captured it in the net. Together they landed the eight-pound rainbow trout.

Catching the trout was a combination of waiting, watching the surroundings, and then then taking appropriate action.

When it was my turn, I cast incorrectly, landing the fly in tree branches. “Be patient. You need to pause at the right time to cast,” the guide said in a quiet voice. If I wanted success, I had to listen to the guide.

With his hand on my reel, he helped me wait. We watched where the fish were, and then took action. I cast and the fish bit on it! I jerked on the rod but the fish got away. I felt defeated. The next try, I waited for the right moment to cast and I landed the trout.

The guide said “be patient” many times, but I kept casting the line instead of letting it float. Waiting and watching preceded action. When the guide stood next to me, he spoke quiet instructions. By listening to the guide, I had success on our fly-fishing excursion.

Waiting and listening to Jesus, our Guide, is a good thing. It gives us time to watch our surroundings and know when to take action. We can see how the Lord is at work and join in. If we get impatient and rush ahead of the Lord’s timing, we get frustration.

In his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Richard Foster makes this observation on waiting. “In waiting we get in touch with the rhythms of life—stillness and action, listening and decision.”

The Psalmist also encourages us in Psalm 27:14 with “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (NIV).

Waiting is hard. We can give thanks for the discipline of waiting. When we wait, watch, and listen to the Lord, our heavenly Guide, we will make progress at the right time.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: What have you learned in the waiting?

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Baby Steps to Greater Steps

by Nancy Kay Grace

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8a NKJV

Have you observed a child in prayer?

My early memories of prayer are from bedtime, when Mom reminded me to say my prayers. I figured the connection to God must be important. I tightly closed my eyes and prayed, believing that if I lay still, I would actually feel the hand of God on my head as an assurance. Although I never felt a physical touch, I believed God was near me.

A child can pray with a sincere heart. The simplicity of my childlike prayers taught me baby steps to trusting God, and those baby steps in prayer taught me the promise of God’s presence. As my faith has deepened, I’ve needed to go beyond baby steps in prayer to greater steps in developing a closer relationship with the Lord.

Developing a meaningful prayer life is the result of personal, spiritual communion with God. We have freedom in His presence to pour out our heart’s joys and burdens in the inner sanctuary of our soul. While the Bible does not give us a specific checklist for drawing near to God, prayer is important for having a dynamic relationship with the Creator. God desires for us to seek Him and come near to Him.

The promise in James 4:8 includes the phrase “draw near,” which means to bring near, to approach, or join one thing to another. God has broken down the barrier of sin by providing a way for us to access Him through the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We have the privilege of approaching God; and He promises to come near to us.

Drawing near to God has many forms. We start by asking God to cleanse our heart of any hindrance, or sin, that takes us away from Him. Reading the Bible, worshiping, and praying help strengthen our relationship with the Lord. Walking in nature or listening to praise music can join our heart to God. Our daily challenge is in turning down the volume of the noisy world and turning up our focus on God.

God reveals Himself in and through the circumstances of our lives as we connect to Him in a deeper, consistent way by maturing in our prayer life. Colossians 4:2 (NIV) says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Devote means to be steadfastly attentive to, to persevere and not faint.”

Prayer is a learned behavior that will strengthen our faith muscle throughout our lifetime. No one ever becomes an expert in prayer—every day we continue to cultivate our communication and relationship with God. From baby steps to greater steps, we participate in the lifelong journey and beauty of drawing near to God.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: How have you grown in your prayer life?

Enough, Already!

by Nancy Kay Grace

Whom have I in heaven but you? Earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26 NIV

The cooler weather beckoned me to go outside and sit at my patio table to journal. Seems simple enough, but first I had to clear the table of flowerpots, put away cleaning supplies, and wipe off the table. Thirty minutes later, I had a pleasant outdoor workspace.

I opened my journal to write down thoughts about our recent vacation, recalling the sights we’d seen and things we’d experienced. Only a few words were on the page when the distraction happened. Barking.

The neighbor’s dog continually woofed at me through the slats of the fence.

Looking toward the fence, I shouted, “Stop it!” (As if I had command over the dog!)

Of course, it didn’t work. More barking.

“Quiet! Enough, already!” The illusion of my control continued.

Louder barking. I had failed as the dog whisperer.

A dog I couldn’t see was derailing my plans for productive writing. For more than fifteen minutes, the nonstop barking ten feet away kept me distracted. I had no control over the dog.

Aggravation replaced any peacefulness in my spirit. I thought clearing the table to work outside on a beautiful day would bring satisfaction. It didn’t. Then I thought I would be satisfied if I outlasted the barking. But how satisfying and peaceful is it to try to outlast a barking dog?

Ummm . . .  not very.

Eventually he moved to the other side of his yard; but it took a while for me to regain a peaceful frame of mind. Finally, I enjoyed a short time at the table with the cool breeze, my thoughts, and my journal.

Even a beautiful day can be robbed of satisfaction if we let it. Unexpected distractions can steal our inner peace. The challenge is in changing our perspective to look at God, trusting Him in a deeper way instead of focusing on the interruption. Most distractions are temporary, yet they can derail our best intentions. Only by looking to God do we find true satisfaction.

Psalm 73:25-26 provides an in-course correction for our perspective: “Whom have I in heaven but you? Earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (NIV).

When I’m tired, God is my strength. When I fall short, God fills the gap with His love. When I need peace, He calms my heart and mind.

Are you needing soul satisfaction? God is enough, already.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: How do you move past distractions?

Spiritual Sluggishness

by Nancy Kay Grace

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV

The heavy air and sweltering heat felt oppressive. When I stepped outside from the air-conditioned house, the summer heat and humidity fogged my glasses, blurring my vision. The heaviness of water vapor in the air even made it hard to breathe.

Temperatures over ninety degrees mixed with high humidity make us sluggish, quickly draining our energy since our bodies have to work harder to cool us down. Sweat does not evaporate when the air is saturated with moisture. As a result, we feel sticky and uncomfortable.

I once experienced spiritual mugginess from carrying a heart burden. I yearned for closeness to the Lord but felt distant from him.

Just as humidity affects us physically, sluggishness in our spirits affect our walk with the Lord. It drains our joy. Conflict, worry, unforgiveness, and bitterness sap our spirits. We feel sticky and uncomfortable in our relationships with others. We also become listless and stagnant in seeking the Lord.

How can we overcome the uncomfortable condition of spiritual sluggishness in our hearts? We need the fresh wind of the Lord to blow upon us.

Looking upward to God changes our perspective. Psalm 51:12 says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (NIV). By looking up, we remember God’s great mercy and unfailing love for us, and that He knows the condition of our hearts, yet still loves us despite our waywardness.

Then, by looking inward, we can confess the sin that blurs our spiritual perception. The palmist David prayed, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2 NIV). God works to cleanse and change our heart as we become open to receive the grace of forgiveness.

Oh, how we need God’s forgiving love and grace! When we seek God through confession, He exchanges refreshing peace for our sticky spiritual sluggishness. God clears our vision so we can see our next steps to Him.

God re-energized my spirit after I looked upward and inward. His forgiveness brought a new perspective to my situation. My spirit felt lighter and joyful.

Do you struggle with spiritual sluggishness? Seek the Lord and embrace His forgiving love. He will once again restore the joy of salvation.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: How have you overcome spiritual sluggishness?

A Stormy Night and a Flashlight

by Nancy Kay Grace

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 NIV

One summer our family of four packed the car for a camping vacation. Our elementary-aged kids had their favorite travel games and books, and I gathered snacks and drinks in my “mom bag.” The pop-up camper was loaded with whatever we thought we’d need—food, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, and a flashlight.

We drove to a state park, where we set up camp. With woods, play areas, and a nightly historical production in an outdoor amphitheater, this park was the perfect place for family fun.

After our campfire dinner, we headed to the amphitheater with the flashlight. It was still light outside, but we knew we’d need the handy flashlight after the show.

We found our place on the benches to watch the entertainment, and everything was fine until a sudden thunderstorm blew in. The winds increased, lightning flashed, and thunder rolled. The stage lights blinked, and an announcement over the loudspeaker told us the show was cancelled for the night.

A few more flickers and then the power went off for the campground lights. Darkness engulfed us as we ran through the woods in heavy rain. But one flashlight didn’t provide much light for us in the stormy night. How would we find our way back to the camper?

Thunder boomed. We jumped. Lightning flashed, and we dashed through the woods, sometimes stopping briefly in the dark moments so we wouldn’t trip on roots. Our frightful trek resumed seconds later when the lightning once again lit our next steps.

It was scary, not knowing if we were running in the right direction toward our camper. But God provided the light we needed through the flashes of lightning in the woods. In the darkness we hesitated until the next part of path was illuminated.

Soggy and cold, we made it back to our temporary canvas home. We calmed down, wrapped ourselves in blankets, and thanked God for our safety.

Psalm 119:105 came alive to me that night: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

In that dark, stormy night we had waited until the next flash of light showed us the way.

God gives us just enough light for the step we’re on. Often, I want to see my entire path lit with floodlights instead of waiting and trusting God for his flashlight to reveal my next step. Yet, even in uncertainty, God’s Word equips us with comfort and direction while we wait for his light to show the way.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: What next step has God revealed to you?

In Plain Sight

by Nancy Kay Grace

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8 NIV

The concrete steps descended into the damp, cool darkness below ground. We followed the guide, holding onto the metal handrail.

My vision gradually adjusted from the bright outdoor sun to the dim underground world. The tour guide pointed her flashlight on the walls revealing previously unseen shapes. Around us were large calcite formations—a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a pipe organ, a large fish, and more. These sights were hidden until we became aware of them in the large, crystal-domed cavern eight stories below ground.

We safely explored the cave with the help of a knowledgeable guide. She went before us, turning on light switches to the next section of the tour, preparing the way for us to navigate the cave.

On the way out, she paused, revealing some small living creatures on the limestone walls—cave crickets, small salamanders, toads, and bats. The critters were always present, but we had walked by them, not noticing the life on the cave walls. Once we saw them, they were in plain sight.

Daily blessings are in plain sight.

Isn’t our cave experience a great metaphor for our lives? We rush past marvelous gifts from God every day without noticing them—the blooming trees, colorful gardens, or the evening sunset. In our busyness, we can easily miss seeing God’s beauty in the seasonal changes. We complain about the clouds and rain, but they help us appreciate the sunny days. The earth is renewed, revealing the new life all around us in the bright tulips and fragrant lilacs. God’s creativity is in plain sight… if we will only open our eyes.

We can be too preoccupied with our concerns to see someone else’s need. A struggling new mom might need babysitting assistance. A lonely neighbor could need conversation and encouragement. Perhaps we could step out of our comfort zone to help them. As we open our eyes to the people around us, we can extend grace in this hurting world.

The apostle Paul writes, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV).

Each day, may we pray for God to open our eyes to see the riches of creation around us and ways to be God’s hands and feet in the world. When we do, he empowers us to have a grateful heart and share his love with those in plain sight.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: What blessings from God have you noticed lately?

The Restored Heirloom

by Nancy Kay Grace

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1 NIV

The antique parlor grand piano remained the final item in my in-law’s estate. The family didn’t know what to do with the instrument, since it hadn’t been played in decades. It was out of tune, and needed a lot of work to make it playable. Its mahogany wood grain was barely visible through the cracked, dull varnish. The closed piano lid provided a display area for family photos and plants, and years of watering the plants had damaged the wood.

My husband and I didn’t have the heart to discard the piano. We felt an emotional connection to this family heirloom with its unique history. It had been on stage during silent movies, and was played by a long-ago relative in a church. I, too, had played it in its better days. Could the seemingly worthless instrument become a restored treasure with a new song?

We took a risk and found a piano restorer who agreed to work on the instrument. The restoration began as the legs were removed, and the keyboard set aside. Decades of dust clung to the strings. Some strings needed replacing, and a hammer had to be handcrafted. Sanding and refinishing the damaged wood took months. But eventually the restored instrument was delivered to our home. Was it playable?

Tears filled my eyes at the beauty and sound of the piano. After decades of dormancy, the 100-year-old parlor grand piano gained a new life, redeemed from disposal. The keys no longer stick and are responsive to a soft or firm touch. The rich wood grain has a warm patina.

The restored piano sounds better than it should, for all it has been through with many moves in its lifetime. It holds a tune, to the piano technician’s amazement. The instrument has a new song.

The Lord has transformed me, too. He has taken my old self with doubts, fears, and insecurities, and exchanged them with hope and acceptance in His love. He shapes me by smoothing off my rough edges and out-of-tune attitudes. God has given me a new song. I am a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God uses everything in our lives when we give everything to Him—our past, our pain and brokenness, even the times when we have no song. Anyone is worthy of restoration in God’s eyes. We can be renewed day by day when we seek the Lord. Our growing faith is a legacy to be shared with future generations.

The Lord restores and tunes us to be more like Him, creating a new song in us.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: What differences have you noticed in yourself since believing in Jesus?

Beware of Identity Theft

by Nancy Kay Grace

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him… Psalm 103:11 NIV

Not long ago, when I checked the status of a credit card account online, I noticed a charge I did not make. After several phone calls to the vendor and the credit card company, it became clear that I was a victim of credit card fraud and identity theft.

Thankfully, this did not involve a huge sum of money.  It did cost a lot of time to get the issue resolved. The theft happened without my knowing it. After a new card number was issued, I had to contact any merchant that had used the previous card. It took nearly a year before the refund appeared on my statement.

Identity theft can also occur within our hearts. The enemy of our souls robs us of our joy and self-esteem by whispering lies that cause us to doubt our value to God.

Comparisons, perfectionism, and focusing on past mistakes are a few of the lies that can snatch our self-identity. When we compare ourselves to others, we lose sight of our uniqueness to the Creator. If we think anything we do must be perfect, we believe the lie that we are only as good as the last performance of a task. Regrets from past mistakes keep us from forgiving ourselves and moving forward with confidence. When we succumb to any of these, we are suffering from identity theft.  

How can we prevent spiritual identity theft? By knowing and believing what God says about us in His Word. Here are a few key thoughts and Bible verses to bolster self-worth:

God knows you personally. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 NIV

God created you. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

Because of God’s unconditional love, Christ died for you. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV

Because of God’s immense love for us, we are chosen as His children. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”1 John 3:1 NIV           

As someone who has struggled with physical identity theft—through my credit card incident—and spiritual identity theft—through listening to lies about myself —I know my source of truth is in what the Word of God says about my value.

Each day presents a new opportunity to look in the mirror and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator who loves me.”          

Our self-worth is stronger when we understand our identity in Jesus Christ.

As someone who has struggled with physical identity theft—through my credit card incident—and spiritual identity theft—through listening to lies about myself —I know my source of truth is in what the Word of God says about my value.

Each day presents a new opportunity to look in the mirror and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator who loves me.”          

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: With what part of your spiritual identity do you struggle the most?

Lifelong Love-Letters

by Nancy Kay Grace

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” 1 John 4:9 (NLT), in God’s love-letter

When I was in college, a handsome young man caught my attention. We began dating in the fall, and enjoyed getting to know one another every day.

Months passed. Holiday break came, and I had to return home several hundred miles away. I felt sad leaving my newfound love. In the weeks until I returned, we promised to write each other every day. Phone calls were too expensive. There were no cell phones and computer technology.

At home, I eagerly checked the mail every day, looking for a written word from Rick. When a letter arrived, I immediately read it and reread it. Our relationship grew stronger in spite of the distance.

My letters to Rick were written on scented stationery. If I used plain stationery, I sprayed my perfume on the envelope. He could tell a letter from me had arrived before opening his mailbox. The scent wasn’t as pleasant as the day I sent it, but I didn’t care. I was a college girl in love and wanted to show it. Of course, his roommates teased him about the fragrant mail. I’m sure the post office workers laughed when handling my letters at arm’s length.

The love letters were an important part of our relationship until we married.

God’s Word, the Bible, is a love-letter written to all of us. It tells us of the great love story of God drawing us into relationship with him, becoming one of us in the life of Jesus Christ, who took the penalty of our sins and conquered death. Throughout the Old and New Testaments we learn of the depth of God’s love to us, as shown in these passages:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Roman 5:8 NIV)

“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39 NLT)

Yet life gets busy. We can neglect reading God’s love-letter. When this happens, I begin to feel disconnected from the Lord. My faith is at risk of drifting into depending on a previous understanding of God instead of learning new revelations from Him. I need reminders of God’s love for me.

When I recall my eagerness to read the love-letters from the early days of Rick’s and my relationship, I want that same desire to open God’s love-letter for fresh insights from God.

I still have a box of Rick’s love letters in a closet and cherish them. Although I haven’t read them in a long time, I know the gist of what they say.

God’s lifelong love-letter has become even more precious to me even though I’m familiar with the story. There is always something new to discover in the scriptures. Its words are a source of daily encouragement, written with love from the heart of my heavenly Father.

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: How do you view the Bible?

Trust the One Who Knows

by Nancy Kay Grace

On New Year’s Day, when changing the calendar on the fridge, I uncovered a familiar magnet.

Once hidden by pictures, coupons and notes, the revealed message resonated in my head and heart as if I read it for the first time. The magnet featured a quote from Corrie ten Boom:

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

A new year brings new challenges. Every day will be an opportunity to trust God with our fears and problems.

Trust. A simple but powerful word. It is the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, or effective. We put trust in someone who is greater than us. What better source of trust is there than the all-knowing God? When we can’t see through the darkness, His presence is with us. He sees the beginning and the end, the first days of the new year through its closing hours.

Consider these 5 assurances to trust our God in the new year:

  • God sees the whole picture of history. We see only our present and have an understanding of the past, but God holds the future. He knows how all of history fits together. “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals the deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with him” (Daniel 2:20-22 NIV).
  • God is aware of His creation. The Creator cares for each of us, His workmanship. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” Hebrews 4:13 NIV He is involved in every detail of the world around us.
  • God is the great comforter, the God who is “with us.” “When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who knows my way” (Psalm 142:3 NIV). We are never alone.
  • When we trust in God, we gain peace. His peace stabilizes us in uncertain situations. “He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).
  • Our strength may wear out, but God’s strength is ever present. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7 NIV). He is strong enough to carry us through. We can rest in the sovereignty of God’s grace. Whatever 2022 holds, always look to the Lord. He is soooo trustworthy—he has been in the past and will continue to be trustworthy in the future.

These five assurances show us Who to trust in these changeable times. Which one do you need the most?

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

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: What do you know about God that helps you trust Him?