Lord,

I double-checked to make sure. And it’s true. The calendar says today is a brand new beginning in a brand new year.

But, Lord, it sure seems like just more of the same to me. Children dying from starvation. Terrorists plotting to destroy. Weather disasters occurring with ever-increasing speed and devastation. Christians still polarized.

Then just about the time I’m ready to relapse into despair, Lord, You remind me that You’re still the same. You’re still God of all-that-is. You still haven’t given up on us. You’re still bringing healing. You’re still dispensing hope. You’re still at work so Your Will becomes just as real on earth as it already is in heaven.

So I’ve made a choice – I choose You over suffering, questions and despair.

I choose to trust You more regardless of what’s going on. I choose to receive Your grace with joy even when my heart is hurting. And I choose to take the initiative to speak out and reach out on Your behalf.

Of course, we both know there will be too many times I’ll fall far short in 2018. But I’m still all in because I know Jesus – my Savior, Lord, Brother and Friend – is leading me every step of the way.

Amen.