For me personally, 2016 was a brutal year.
When I look back on the past 12 months, I can far too quickly recall moments of severe pain, overwhelming stress, plentiful tears, and many, many losses. It was a year that took a toll on me physically, took a toll on me emotionally, and took a toll on me spiritually.
Maybe you can relate. It could be that as you think back on 2016, it was a hard year for you, too. With so much going on in our lives, not to mention, in the world around us, I know I can’t be the only one who was ready to say good riddance to 2016.
But, friend, 2016 has come and gone. And we have survived it. We may have been through some really hard things, but we have come out even stronger.
For me, through the hardships of 2016, God’s steady hand was so clear. He was the rock that I clung to, in the midst of some really dark times. He brought joy even in the most unexpected places. And through the pressure of 2016, my faith has reached levels I never imagined it could. And for that, I’m so very thankful.
Still….I’m ready to say goodbye to 2016. And see what God has in store for this new year. Maybe you are too.
At the start of every year I ask the Lord to give me a word to hold on to for that year. Ironically, 2016 came with the word HOPE. God knew I would need to cling to His promises of hope that year! But this year, the Lord gave me a new word:
This is the year of restoration, and I am holding firmly to that promise!! In the book of Joel, God’s people had just been through some really hard times. And in Joel Chapter 2 the Lord promises them that this would be a time of restoration.
“I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten….”
Friends, I am HOLDING on to that promise in my life, and maybe God is calling you to claim it for yourself! This is the year of restoration.
Restoration of your marriage.
Restoration of those dreams you’ve let fall to the wayside.
Restoration of healing in your body.
Restoration of joy from your depression.
Restoration of hope through your hopelessness.
Restoration of laughter where there have been tears.
Restoration of trust in your broken heart.
Restoration of courage in your discouragement.
Restoration to believe, when you’ve doubted for so long.
The is the year that God will take all of the hardships that flooded your life in 2016, and use them for your good. It’s a promise.
It’s time to pick up the pieces of 2016, and use them to build an altar of faith for this new year. Faith that God is who He says He is. Faith that He can be trusted. And faith that He will restore all things….and that there WILL BE A day, when all wrongs will be made right again.
Friend, I am believing that this is the year of restoration. Will you believe with me?
Comment below: What are you hoping to see restored in 2017?
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!
“Your love life needs this book!”
– Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, NYTimes Bestselling Authors and Psychologists