Friday, January 1, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: New Hope

A New Year, A New Hope

A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” –Daniel 2:20-21 (NIV)

The year 2020 is finally over. Met with so much hope and potential at the start of a new decade, its time in history will forever be marred with memories of great difficulty and global chaos. Yet, I humbly pray that all of us will remember and be grateful for the small joys and victories that did occur, and especially for the faithfulness of God that brought us through to its conclusion.

As I sat down at the beginning of this week to plan for the new year with my 2021 calendar, I felt an intense need to take pause and seek God. In my 2020 calendar, there were so many empty dates on pages and canceled events crossed out. I felt humbled to pray and ask for God’s discernment before putting any marks or reminders on the new, fresh days ahead. The Bible warns us about boasting of our plans for tomorrow. James 4:14 (NIV) reads, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

This verse implies how fleeting life can be if we don’t understand its importance – that each day we are given is meant for God’s purpose.

So, how can we achieve this daily purpose if we can’t be sure what each day will bring? After all, no one expected the events of 2020! I’ll be the first admit that I don’t always approach each day and pray as the writer James says we ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15). As I sought to discern the answer to this daily struggle, God showed it to me using the book of Daniel in The Holy Bible.

Daniel’s story is one of a faithful servant of God struggling to maintain his purpose in difficult times. He was part of a noble class of Israelites in Jerusalem when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took over the city and ordered that “young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified” would serve in the king’s palace (Daniel 1:1, 4). Daniel was living a “charmed life” one day and became a servant to his enemy the next.

He could have caved to the hopeless situation, but he “resolved not to defile himself” (Daniel 1:8) because Daniel knew his strength to resist and persevere could only come from God. So, to Daniel and his friends, “God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds” (Daniel 1:17).

Daniel remained faithful and unwavering in his beliefs, so God caused his superior to show favor and compassion to Daniel. This favor led to more favor, and more supernatural interpretation from God that helped Daniel interpret the King’s troublesome dreams which in turn, saved him and his friends from death (Daniel 2:24-48). Daniel sought God’s will despite all his circumstances and trials, and in return God honored him.

Today, in this first day of 2021, we are all standing on a precipice of new hope, dawned fresh, wondrous, and full of our potential with God leading the way before us. He is faithful, true, just, and righteous! He always wants the best for us. He’s planned the best for us. We have but to daily seek to partner with His will in our mind, body, and spirit. 
To be one with Him and expectant of His grace and mercy. 

Come what may, God promises to sustain us, save us, and redeem us! 

Happy New Year 2021!

Author Bio:

Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater.

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program.

Mirachelle is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII.

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