words for the new year

At the start of every new year, I ask God for a word. One to direct my thoughts and steps for the year.

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On New Year’s Eve, my morning quiet time led me to Colossians 4:2: “Devote yourself to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” God confirmed it in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 the next morning: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.”

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I already knew gratitude was a focus for the year when I received not one, but two gratitude journals for Christmas. God does that you know. He emphasizes things in our lives to get our attention.

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And, prayer. Well, January always begins with a prayer emphasis for our church. I was already committed to praying.

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But there was the word joyful. Always be joyful. Honestly, that has always stumped me. Always be joyful? In every circumstance? That’s so hard!

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Thinking on that word took me to the Greek dictionary. Joyful, in this verse, comes from “chairo”. It means: to delight in God’s grace, to experience God’s grace, to be conscious (glad) for his grace, the awareness of God’s grace.

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Wow!! Joyful isn’t this happy, bouncing Tigger kind of emotion in this verse. It means always be aware or conscious of God’s grace. Yes! We can do that in all circumstances because God’s grace is all around us. Working in every situation.

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That takes me back to the words of the first scripture: “with an alert mind.” To be joyful, we must be alert, mindful of all the ways God is working in our lives. In all circumstances. Aware of God’s grace. Joyful. Prayerful. Thankful. Always. My words for 2019.

**This post is the first of the Hope Writers Challenge. See below:

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#HopeWriterLife #word #writerprompts #aquietpause #joyfulalways #grateful #prayerful @hopewriters

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