Here we are saying goodbye to another year and saying hello to a new year. I will be the first to say I’m excited to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. There’s just one thing, I may be going into a new year, but everything I was facing last year is going with me. So the question isn’t what am I going to do with a new year, but what am I going to do different with this new year.
For many of us, the things we were facing before midnight on New Years Eve are the very things we’re facing now that the new year is here. This doesn’t have to mean disappointment, discouragement or defeat. This can mean divine appointment, encouragement and victory! Life’s circumstances didn’t change when the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve, but we can!
Maybe you feel like you were dealt a difficult hand with no way out, like there are no answers to your questions, or like you are stuck in an impossible situation. The enemy tries to make us forget that our God is the Master of impossible (Matthew 19:26). There are countless stories in God’s Word that tells us how He conquered the impossible, how He healed, how He overcame, and how He gives us victory through Him! So what do we do with this new year that has rolled upon us?
As a multitude of thoughts swim in my heart and mind, one word makes its way to the top, ahead of the rest...immerse.
Immerse: to plunge into something that surrounds or covers; involve or engage wholly and deeply.
Immerse yourself! Immerse in what, you may wonder. There are three places we can immerse ourselves that will change how this year looks for us even if our circumstances or situation doesn’t change.
1. We can immerse ourselves in God.
Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (a protective barrier).”
Being covered by something places us in a shadow and Psalm 91:1 tells us, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Dwelling is making ourselves a permanent resident which means we must stay in His shelter, it’s not a temporary living place, but a moment by moment decision we must make to remain there.
There is no safer place to be than deep within God, there is no place to rest but in Him. He is faithful!
2. We can immerse ourselves in God’s Word.
Without faith in God it’s hard to endure what this life can bring. It’s quite miserable to be honest. Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The beginning, progress, and strength of our faith comes through hearing the Word. The Word is truth, truth that anchors us in the midst of life’s storms. There is an enemy out there and he’s waiting to devour us (1 Peter 5:8) and if we’re not anchored in the truth of God’s Word, he will devour us and every ounce of faith we have.
God’s Word is quick, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), it’s breathed out by God to teach, reproof, train, and equip us (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and it keeps us from sinning against Him (Psalm 119:11). I think that in the midst of life those are all things we need to help us through.
3. We can immerse ourselves in prayer.
Prayer is powerful and it changes us. Prayer can most definitely change our circumstances if God so chooses, but more important than changing our circumstances it changes us. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When we face various trials in this life being in prayer shows our dependence is on Him, and it’s where our peace will come from.
The time we spend in prayer is time well spent. Of all the many things that try to promise us satisfaction, help, and relief, there is nothing out there that can promise us what God promises us. He is the One who can make all things new and His words are trustworthy and true (Revelation 21:5).
One of the things to remember when we’re praying is that sometimes it’s not God’s will to remove us or change what we’re praying about immediately. When we don’t remind ourselves of this the enemy can gain a foothold in our hearts and minds rather quickly and cause us to doubt Him. Just as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, we too must pray, nevertheless Your will be done. We must remember that there is a bigger picture that God sees and we can trust Him even when we don’t understand. That’s why the first two places to immerse ourselves are so vital.
So what am I going to do with this new year? I’m going to immerse myself! He has been my God through all of my journey in this life and that’s not going to change, no matter what. I know the only place true help will come from and “Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalm 61:4). Let’s immerse ourselves and change the new year!
Lord, help me to immerse myself in You, in Your Word, and in prayer this year more than I ever have. You are all that I need no matter what life looks like around me and You are the only One who can help me through. I trust in You, wholly and deeply. ~ In Jesus Name, Amen