By Alyssa Jones
Our family celebrated when 2020 came to an end. We had started the year with great joy—welcoming our third-born into the world in early February—but shortly found ourselves stuck at home as the global pandemic changed everything about how we interacted with the world around us. We pressed on through isolation and anxiety, navigating virtual schooling and work-from-home in a way that left us feeling both thankful for the togetherness and powerless over anything outside our walls.
So I started 2021 on empty, half-joking that my “word of the year”—a tradition in which some choose to focus on success, energy, joy, or confidence—would be unsustainable. As in, I cannot keep doing this. If 2021 is anything like 2020, I’m not going to make it.
It turns out that 2021 was a lot like 2020. In many ways, it was even harder; but I did make it. And so, as 2022 begins, I want to testify that if you are feeling like you need a miracle to move forward into another year, the Lord is with you. I pray you’ll be encouraged in your ministry by the following truths. Spend time meditating on Scripture. Consider listening to the suggested songs on your favorite music platform.
The Lord sustains.
I spent too many of my younger years sincerely believing that I could “do it all” if I just tried hard enough. There is peace in recognizing your own weakness. God created us as limited beings who need rest and help.
- Pray that the Lord would raise up volunteers in your kids ministry.
- Read it: “God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my life.” (Psalm 54:4)
- Listen: “Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me” – CityAlight
The Lord knows.
When I am rocked by unexpected news, I remind myself, “The Lord is not surprised by this.” He knows. He has always known. In fact, He is using this somehow in a way I do not yet understand so that He will receive the greatest amount of glory. The Lord is good, and we can trust Him.
- Pray that the Lord would give you peace beyond understanding when you face challenges this year.
- Read it: “Our Lord is great, vast in power; his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5)
- Listen: “You Already Know” – JJ Heller
The Lord provides.
God is a good Father. Everything comes from Him, and He will not leave us needing that which we truly require. Take time to consider His blessings and thank Him for providing for your greatest need in Jesus.
- Pray for your biggest need this coming ministry year. Be bold; pray for what seems impossible.
- Read it: “What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything?” (Romans 8:31-32)
- Listen: “The Blessing” – Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Elevation Worship
The Lord is unchanging.
Friends move, coworkers seek new jobs, kids grow up. Some of us handle change better than others. The Bible is clear that the Lord is unchanging. When you read about God’s Old Testament miracles, remember that He is still that powerful God. The same God who showed Himself to be the one true God at Mount Carmel, powerful at the Red Sea crossing, and relentless in the lives of Hosea and Gomer is the same God we serve today.
- Pray that kids will see and treasure the real God of the Bible and follow Him.
- Read it: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
- Listen: “Red Sea Road” – Ellie Holcomb
When everything around me felt unsustainable, the Lord proved Himself to be the One who sustains. The same God that faithfully led the Israelites into the promised land goes before us into 2022, powerful to sustain and provide. Trust Him with your new year. He knows what lies ahead and is at work for His glory and your good. Do you believe that?
Alyssa Jones worships and serves with her husband at Refuge Franklin, a church plant outside of Nashville, Tennessee. They have three children.