Five life-changing truths to guide your 2021


photo via ChurchLeaders

After months of anxious anticipation, 2020 finally came to its bittersweet end. While the new year usually entails a fresh start and new beginning, millions around the globe prepare for a continuation of last year’s strife.

However, after my daily perusal of TikTok on New Year’s Day, I find myself looking at 2021 through hopeful eyes. 

As the calming melody of “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship softly set the tone, I soon found myself flipping through my Bible, eagerly searching for the five verses that appeared on my phone’s screen. I whole-heartedly believe divine providence brought this video to me–just as I hope these verses will provide encouragement to you.

No matter the season of life or creed of your faith, these five simple truths universally apply. So, take a deep breathe, calm your thoughts and open your mind to five Bible verses to live by in 2021.

1.) Be patient: “The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness. But He is patient with us, because He does not want any to perish, but all come to repentance.” –2 Peter 3:9

If 2020 has taught us anything, patience tops the list. As the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the typical fast-paced atmosphere slowed, granting time for reflection and appreciation of life’s simplest pleasures. Take 2021 as an opportunity to expand on this gift: stay patient with our current circumstances and prioritize slowing life down to smell the roses. In the long run, these current struggles will mean little; it’s what we choose to make out of the circumstances that will bring about repentance and eternal life.

2.) Be hopeful: “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11

Everyday, God presents us with opportunities to grow in Him and in our lives. Rather than focus on the little inconveniences and struggles, look at the bigger picture through an optimistic lens. For every challenge that may cross your path this new year, reflect upon the hope Jeremiah seeks to inspire and trust the Lord’s plan. Life’s too short to sweat the small detours; embrace challenges and allow their lessons to guide your journey.

3.) Don’t be anxious: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication by thanksgiving make your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7

This verse truly resonates with me: it was the first verse I memorized and happens to speak to my greatest struggle. Everywhere, anxiety and stress seek to overcome and deter us from God’s intended plan. Instead of succumbing to the strife, take time to step back and center yourself in the moment. It may seem silly, but a deep breath and re-evaluation of a situation can easily prevent continued stress. Trust that you do not bear your struggles alone,  someone is always with you. It will be difficult at first, but worth the peace it brings.

4.) Have faith: “Jesus answered them, have faith in God. For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believe that what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.” –Mark 11:22-23

We live in a busy, materialistic world full of wonders and pleasures designed to turn our focus away from God. Moreover, the overbearing reach of political correctness adds to the struggle, making it more difficult to freely share our faith without retribution. Mark 11:22 provides the encouragement necessary to stand strong against this worldly tidal wave, calling each of us to believe in deliverance. This world cannot throw anything your way that Jesus hasn’t already experienced. Allow Him to be your guide and work through you to enact change.

5.) Pray without ceasing: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” –1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Whenever troubles and hardships find you, pray or reflect on them. God encourages us to enter conversation with him often. Speaking to him through prayer not only alleviates some of the struggle, but also allows you to more easily recognize his efforts to communicate with you. Whether a simple praise for fortune, a short grace before dinner or a lengthy conversation before bed, allow yourself time for fellowship with the Lord this year.

God provides us with love and security this world cannot supply. Any progress, formation or total transformation can easily be achieved with these five truths in mind. So before saying “2020 won,” choose a new mindset and grow in grace this new year.