January 7, 2024

Hope in the New Year

Written by Pat Elsberry

Even if I don’t know where God is taking me, I can be confident of this – He knows where I’m going, and I’m holding His hand each step of the way.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 7, 2024

by Pat Elsberry

The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11

As the calendar turns the page and another year is before us, how are you feeling about the upcoming new year? Do you feel hopeful and excited, or are you leaning more toward dread, fear, and uncertainty? 

While packing away the Christmas ornaments, I began to have a stirring of wonder, excitement, and hope in my spirit. Although my hope and trust are always in the Lord, since my daughter ran ahead to heaven, those feelings have become foreign to me over the past few years when I’ve awakened to a new year without her. Yet, life moves forward, and the pages on the calendar do turn. Isn’t it such a dichotomy that we can simultaneously feel excitement and trepidation about the new year? That may be where our trust in Jesus comes in. Our hope, strength, and ultimate faith in Him help us take the unknown steps into each new year. 

While 2023 has had some significant life changes for me, they have all been positive, even if a bit scary. I’ve become fond of the saying, “You can do hard things.” Even if I don’t know where God is taking me, I can be confident that He knows where I’m going, and I hold His hand along each step. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in each step they take” (Psalm 37:23, TLB).

If you’re feeling uncertain about this new year, take it one step, one moment at a time. Don’t try to figure out God’s detailed plan for you – you can trust that His word and promises are valid and that He has a plan. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). If God gave us the complete blueprint of our lives, it would probably frighten us so much we would run in the other direction. As much as I like to be in control of where I’m going, my hope and trust in Him override the need to know every detail. 

We can take this journey side-by-side with Jesus, letting Him lead the way. This new year can bring about freshness and opportunities to begin anew. Whatever place you find yourself in today, there is hope in a new year when we let Jesus lead the way. 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go’ I will guide you with my eye” (Psalm 32:8).


Lord Jesus, as we step into this new year may I continue to remember that wherever I go it will be to a place where you’ve already gone before me. There is nothing before me that I cannot do as long as I know you are by my side, leading the way.


As you begin this new year, take a moment to look for the new opportunities Jesus places in your path to love him, with renewed hope and trust.

Related Reading

Proverbs 23:18; Jeremiah 17:7; Romans 15:13; 1 Timothy 4:10

Worship Resource

Phil Wickham: Living Hope


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