Subscribe to receive weekly emails of the Reasons for Hope blog.

* indicates required

Listen BEFORE You Leap!

We made it–January 2022! Most of us couldn’t see these past two years go by fast enough–a global pandemic, social distancing, masks, COVID tests, remote learning for schools, remote church services, remote work for many companies, vaccines, boosters, political unrest, stress levels rising, uncertainty being a certainty, and people’s mettle being tested on a daily basis. As a believer, I have had to be on guard not to let the cultural climate cloud my outlook, my world view. Instead, when I take the biblical “high road,” I’m reminded of the certainty of God’s character in the midst of these tumultuous times. Here are just a few reminders:
  • He has been our rock, our shield, and our stronghold (Psalm 18:1,2).
  • He never changes (Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6).
  • He is our strength (Isaiah 40:28-31).
  • He walks through the trials with us (Psalm 23:4; Joshua 1:9).
  • He will never leave us nor forsake us (2 Corinthians 1:3,4; Hebrews 13:5).
  • He is in control (Proverbs 19:21; 1 Chronicles 29:11; John 16:33).
Even through all this, I am well aware that anything we’ve gone through over these past two years pales in comparison to the hardship and persecution Christ followers before us have endured. And, as anxious as we all are to leap into the new year hoping for a brighter tomorrow, there’s something you need to hear (or should I say, read) before you jump into January that will allow you to truly enter this new year experiencing joy in Jesus.
Today, I’m sharing my blog space with a relative, my eldest niece’s husband. While visiting from Georgia, and during one of his quiet times of reflection while here in the beautiful north woods of Maine, he penned the following thoughts.

"Don't think for a minute that you can outsmart the coming year with your careful plans, or power your way through to your goals with the force of your will."

This week, most of us hung a new calendar (or in our day, more likely we'll "swipe" to it), and our thoughts naturally turn to plans and changes for the coming year, and what we'll "resolve" to do differently in 2022. For me, those thoughts tend to go something like this: 
  • "I really need to get better at ..., 
  • I should work harder to get more done on ..., 
  • My goal will be to change the way I think about ..., 
  • I am going to resolve that I will improve the way I ..." 
You get the idea. Then along the way, I may ask God for His help in those areas, and to bless the changes that I have deemed necessary in my life.
 
 Maybe you're a little like me. If so, may I share with you what the Lord has been impressing on me the last several days? I feel as if He’s saying this:
"I have a resolution for you, one so succinct and simple that it just requires one word: Listen. You don't know what awaits you in 2022; you don't know what decisions you will face, what skills you will need, or what accomplishments will be most needful. Don't think for a minute that you can outsmart the coming year with your careful plans, or power your way through to your goals with the force of your will. I didn't create you or our relationship to work that way. Just make this plan for 2022--come to Me each day, and let's talk. If you take the time to listen, I want to set your goals, to give you your plan, to make each decision clear, day by day, moment by moment. I'll walk with you each step of the way, but I can't direct your next step unless you listen for My voice."
May we resolve to be Spirit-led in our walk with Christ in 2022!
 
Shared by Nathan Buchan, Winston, GA
This message reminds me of a sermon I heard at summer camp once, in which it was stated, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we’ll listen twice as much as we talk.” I’ve often thought about this, and yes, I did use it on my children during their formative years. I also think about how He reminds us that we are “forgetful hearers” (James 1:22-25). 
So, here's the charge I leave you with today: Don’t just look before you leap, listen--really, intentionally, and thoughtfully. God may just surprise you with REST (See blog dated December 31, 2021.) and a plan that exceeds your expectations. One of the amazing things about His plans is that He promises to walk them with us. Yes, His resolutions are firm, unwavering, real, and won’t be broken. It’s up to us, however,  to join Him in seeing them come to fruition.

Remember, listen first, then leap!
To encourage and equip you in better understanding the magnificence and compassion of our great God, we encourage you to order our newest resource, Did Jesus Commit Suicide? And 27 Other Questions Teens Are Asking About the Bible (that adults want to know, too). To access our online store for this and other books, click HERE.
To have free access to our DeBunked videos and dozens of other Reasons for Hope* resources, download our FREE APP--Reasons for Hope (look for the blue asterisk). Click HERE.
Holly Varnum, Director of Curriculum Development at Reasons for Hope* joined us September 2021 to launch curricular materials to support many of our media resources. With degrees in education, curriculum and instruction, and educational administration, she comes with over three decades of experience in working with teens and adults in camp ministry, teaching and administration, and curriculum writing (A Beka Book, Focus on the Family, and Answers in Genesis to name a few). God has provided her with a well-rounded educational perspective through service in Christian schools, charter schools, public schools, Christian camps, and local church ministry. She has been a classroom teacher, instructional coach, administrator, camp counselor, Sunday School teacher, ladies’ Bible Study teacher, and conference speaker and looks forward to using her passion for God’s truth within the context of RforH*. 

Her hobbies include cooking and baking, hiking, camping, travel, and working on do-it-yourself projects. Holly and her husband, Paul, (RforH*’s new Director of Media Content) also enjoy any time they can spend with their three grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren (so far!). They live in the beautiful state of Maine, and yes, eat lobster (properly pronounced “lobstah”) whenever they get a chance!


No Comments


Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Chronicles 16:8-12 1 Chronicles 22:14 1 Chronicles 29:11 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 15:45 1 Corinthians 15:57 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 2:15 1 John 2:2 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:19 1 John 4:7-8 1 Peter 1:23 1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:18 1 Peter 4:12-13 1 Peter 4:12-19 1 Peter 5:10 1 Thessalonians 5:11 1 Timothy 4:8 1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:3-10 1 corinthians 10:13 100 miles 100% human 1Peter 1:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:13-29 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 2 Corinthians 12:9 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 2 Corinthians 1:3 2 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 5:21 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Peter 3:9 2 Samuel 23:8-12 2 Samuel 6:17 2 Thessalonians 3:3 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:25 2 Timothy 2:7 2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 4:11 25% are staying 50k 55-mile race AI Abraham sacrificing Isaac Abraham was very rich. Abuja Acts 11 Acts 13 and 15 Acts 17:11 Acts 17:22-34 Acts 17 Acts 1:8 Acts 27:35 Acts 5:38-39 Acts 9 Albert Einstein All great men were born in February. Alyssa Glander America waited too long. Apostle Peter Asbury Barabbas Barna poll Barnabas Baruch Bulla Be a Berean Be bold! Be bold Be happy! Be part of the process. Be still and know that I am God Best Evidence God Created Bethlehem Bible reading Bible Biblical archaeology Bob Gillespie Brian Miller C.S. Lewis CRT Camp Sigel Candace Nordine Carl Kerby Jr. Carl Kerby Cell phones Choosing for Two Christ in me Christ opened my eyes. Christian Camps Christian witness Christian worldview Chruch Colossians 1:27 Colossians 2:14 Colossians 2:8 Colossians 3:17-23 Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:1 Colossians 4:5-6 Columbo Tactic Creation Creator God D. Mark Jacobs Jr. Dan Lietha Daniel 12:4 Daniel 2:21 Dave Glander David Tautofi DeBunked 15 DeBunked TV DeBunked Deuteronomy 11:13 Deuteronomy 32:35 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Deuteronomy 6:7 Did Jesus Commit Suicide? Dr. Andrew Fabich Dr. Francis Schaeffer Dr. Jason Lisle Dr. Juan Valdes Dr. William Beal Draa Mackey EQUIP+ EQUIP Easter Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 12:14 Ecclesiastes 3:11 Ecclesiastes 4:10 Eleazar Elohim Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 3:12 Ephesians 3:17-18 Ephesians 3:19-21 Ephesians 3:20-21 Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 5:15-16 Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 5:20 Ephesians 6:10-18 Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:4 Equip Retreat Exodus 17:11 Exodus 17:12 Exodus 20:11 Exodus 33:14 Ezekiel 33:11 Facing the Giants Family dinner Fascinating Facts Fearless Faith Frank Figueroa Gabby Terry Galatians 2:20 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:9 Gary Varvel Gen Z Genesis 11:1-2 Genesis 11:6 Genesis 11:7 Genesis 13:1-2 Genesis 13:8-12 Genesis 1:14-15 Genesis 1:14 Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:28 Genesis 1:29 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 22 Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3:12 Genesis 3:14-15 Genesis 3:20 Genesis 3 Genesis 9:7 Genesis and the Gospel Genesis Give thanks to the Lord. Glad You Asked Christmas Edition Glad You Asked Glendive Montana Glory to God! God created you God is love. God is rich in mercy God loves us. God loves you God makes no mistakes. God won the battle God-created world God-shaped vacuum God's Word God's character God's dwelling place God's grace God's joy God's plan God's pursuit God\'s Word God\'s character God\'s joy God\'s plan God\'s pursuit God\\\'s character God\\\'s joy God\\\'s plan God\\\'s pursuit God\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\'s joy God\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan Gods Word is truth Gods Word Gods care Gods character Gods divine plan Gods light Gods love story Gods plan of redemption Gods plan Gods wisdom Good Shepherd Gospel message Grace Mally Grace Moffitt Grammar matters Groggy Hallelujah! Hawaii He is always faithful. He is risen Heaven Hebrews 10:1-18 Hebrews 10:19-22 Hebrews 10:23 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12:1-3 Hebrews 12 Hebrews 13:14 Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:16 Hebrews 7:25 Hell His glory Holly Varnum Holy Spirit How can I fight and overcome fear? How to Think Hubble Human life is sacred. Huntsman Center Hurry sickness I Peter 3:15 IMPACT Impact Curriculum In everything give thanks. Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Is life good? Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 26:3-4 Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:29 Isaiah 40:31 Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 43:2 Isaiah 45:9a Isaiah 53:6 Isaiah 55:11 Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8 Isaiah 64:8 Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Israel Museum It is well with my soul Jamaica James 1:12 James 1:15 James 1:17 James 1:2 James 4:10 James 4:14 James 4:7 James 4:8 January 2022 Jehovah Rapha Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:13 Jeremiah 31:3 Jeremiah 33:3 Jeremiah 36:32 Jerusalem Jesus and me Jesus chose to die. Jesus comforts the broken-hearted. Jesus saw their faith Jesus the Messiah Jesus Jewish feasts Job 1:3 Job 2:8 John 10:10 John 10:11 John 10:17-18 John 10:27 John 11:25 John 14:1-3 John 14:6 John 15:1-11 John 15:13 John 15:16a John 16:33 John 1:12 John 1:35-42 John 3:16-17 John 3:16 John 3:17 John 6:51 John 8:32 John 8:36 John Mark John Ray Joni Eareckson Tada Joni and Friends Joseph A. Kennedy Joseph and Mary Joseph Joshua 1:9 Joshua 22:5 Joshua 24:15 Juan Valdes Jude 1:22 Julaine Appling Justice Kaimuki Bulldogs Kaimuki High School Keeping teens faithful King David King Hezekiah King Solomon Know It! Live It! Share It! Know why you believe. LEAD Wisconsin Lacey Reitz Lamentations 3:22-23 Lamentations 3:22-24 Leviticus 12:8 Leviticus 18:24-30 Leviticus 25:23 Liberty Institute Life in layers Life is good because God is good. Life is good Listen to His voice. Listen Little boys need Mamas. Little boys need to know their Mamas like them. Loose the Lion Luke 12:12 Luke 18:1 Luke 1:32 Luke 22:32 Luke 24:38 Luke 2:1-14 Luke 2:24 Luke 2:55 Luke 2:7 Luke 5:1-11 Luke 5:37-39 MRRHWQ 15:32-38 MTD Malachi 3:3 Malachi 3:6 Mark 10:45 Mark 10:8 Mark 16:15 Mark 1:16-18 Mark 2:3-5 Mark 5:19 Mark 6:31 Martin Luther Mary Master Potter Matthew 10:20 Matthew 10:32 Matthew 11:28-29 Matthew 11:28-30 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29-30 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 13 Matthew 14:13-21 Matthew 14:22-33 Matthew 14:31 Matthew 16:24 Matthew 19:16-24 Matthew 19:23-24 Matthew 1:22-23 Matthew 24:35 Matthew 27:15-25 Matthew 27:75 Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 4:18-20 Matthew 5:13 Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:18 Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19-21 Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:25-26 Matthew 6:27 Matthew 6:33 Matthew 9:35 May 15 1987 Memory Lane Mere Christianity Messiah Mic'd Up Mic'dUP Mic\'d Up Mic\'dUP Mic\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d Up Micah 5:2 Micah 6:8 Michigan State University Miracles Money is their god. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Mosaic NRB National Religious Broadcasters Never Forget. Never Again. New Year's resolutions New Year\'s resolutions Nigeria Noah's ark Nonconformity Not yet a human. OJ Simpson Parable of the sower Pastor Baba Paul Varnum Peter Philippians 1:6 Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 2:6-11 Philippians 3:12-16 Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:6-9 Philippians 4:8 Pilate Plan C Please say Yes! Please say "Yes!" Please say \"Yes!\" Please say \\\"Yes!\\\" Pool of Siloam Potter Pray for Rachael Neal. Proverbs 11:10 Proverbs 12:26 Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:34 Proverbs 15:4 Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 1:8-9 Proverbs 20:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 23:19-21 Proverbs 27:17 Proverbs 3:5-6 Proverbs 3:5 Proverbs 3;5-6 Proverbs 6:16-19 Psalm 100:5 Psalm 100 Psalm 103:2-5 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119:160 Psalm 122:1 Psalm 138:1-2 Psalm 139:14 Psalm 139:17 Psalm 139:4 Psalm 139 Psalm 13:6 Psalm 147:4 Psalm 16:11 Psalm 18:1-2 Psalm 18:30 Psalm 19:1 Psalm 1:1 Psalm 1 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 23:2 Psalm 23:4 Psalm 23:6 Psalm 27 Psalm 29:2 Psalm 2:1-6 Psalm 31:14-15 Psalm 34:19 Psalm 37:3-7 Psalm 37:5-6 Psalm 37:5 Psalm 40:2 Psalm 40:8 Psalm 42 Psalm 63:3 Psalm 68:19 Psalm 69:9a Psalm 73:16-17 Psalm 8:3 Psalm 8:4 Psalm 92:1-4 Pursued Put God first Rachael Neal Reasons for Hope Responds Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life Reasons for Hope* Reasons for Hope Rebekah Haynie Respond to God's voice Respond to God\'s voice Respond to God\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s voice Resurrection Revelation 19:11 Revelation 20:12 Revelation 22:18-19 Revelation 7:9-11 RforH Romans 10:14 Romans 10:15 Romans 10:9-10 Romans 10:9 Romans 11:36 Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:2 Romans 12:9-21 Romans 1:16 Romans 1:20 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:10-11 Romans 5:12 Romans 5:17 Romans 5:6-10 Romans 6:23 Romans 8:14 Romans 8:18-25 Romans 8:26 Romans 8:28 Romans 8:38-39 Romans 8:38 Sanctity of Life Schaftlein Report Scriptures Seal of Baruch September 11 Shelby Pruitt Spurgeon Stay bold! Stay bold Steve Herzig Supreme Court Surprised by Joy Testify Thanksgiving The Bible Project The Bible is a Jewish book. The DeBunked Files The Plumb Line The Right Ingredients The Screwtape Letters There is no truth There's Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! There\\\\\\\'s Nothing Wrong with Abortion ... DeBunked! Think before you post. Thinkful TikTok Tish Kerby Titus 2:6 Tower of Babel Trust His heart Trusting God Use God's Word correctly. Use God\'s Word correctly. WEF Wade Wacker Wash their feet. Wealthy Christians What are you thankful for? What is a Christian? What is my purpose? Who Made God? Why am I here? Why did Jesus have to die? Will Our Generation Speak? Within Our Reach Wooed Word of God Your grace still amazes me. Your vote matters. Youth outreach Yuval Noah Harari Zola Levitt a little at a time a process; not an event abortion absolute truth abundant life acacia accepting help achieving the impossible adventure anatomy and physiology angels angry another child of God struggling answering questions antidote to fear anxious apologetics artificial intelligence astronomy astrophysics atonement for sin be not afraid best of luck biblical Christianity biblical creationist biblical perspective biblical worldview biology blindfold boldness bold boys branch brokenness bullae bulla butterfly caged called to encourage cancellation cancer journey cancer cease striving certainty challenge character check your attitude children choices clay coercion come alongside comfort zone comfortable Christian commas save lives compromised confidence confused conjunction consequences created in Gods image creation vs. evolution critical race theory critical thinking cross curriculum cut the head off the snake debate deception defend depressed depression design of the eye designed by God desperate passion dinosaur dig distractions don't fight alone don't stop don\'t fight alone don\'t stop don\\\'t fight alone don\\\'t stop don\\\\\\\'t stop dont stop doubt eisegeses embryology encouragement entrusted by God to do good eternal life eternity without God eternity evangelism evidence for a creator examine the scriptures exegesis eye fair and impartial faith walk family circle family first fear not fearfully and wonderfully made fear feeling lost feeling overwhelmed fig filled with joy and worship flight cancelled football coach forest forever home former athiest free will freedom of choice fruit fulfilled prophecies galaxies gestation give a defense give thanks glory in His holy name good luck good news of Jesus Christ good news good will toward men grace gratitude grog having conversations heavenly host hermeneutics heroes of the faith history of the universe hope human eye humble ourselves illness impact lives impact your teammates positively impulsive incomprehensible God inn investment isolation keep moving keep progressing largest church in the world layers leaf light year speed like Christ live in freedom loss of loved ones loss love of money love mATTHEW 26: 20-29 made for another world made in His image manger marriage memories memorization without application memorizing Scripture miraculous design missing opportunities more like Christ motivation multiple meanings mystical truth never compromised no coincidence no complaints no hope no pain no gain no place like home no quitting no room in the inn nonconformist not a fetus not ashamed oak objective right and wrong olive one foot in front of the other one race one-world government opened doors opportunity to bring hope overwhelming distance palms part of a team passionate patience patriotism paying it forward peace persecution persevere perspective physics plans pomegranate positive messages postgame prayer potsherd pottery potter power of the Word praying pregnancy pregnant preposition prioritize God pro-life progress propitiation providence quadriplegic quiet time reach the younger generation reality exists reality reassurance red cardinal redemptive work of Christ refining refocus what church looks like relationship with God relentless forward motion represent Christ resolutions rest revival right time right words root of all evil root sacrifice salvation see God move seed experiment seek the Lord shine a light silversmith situation slavery social media son of encouragement speak life speak your truth spiritual apathy spiritual harvest spiritual legacy spotless Lamb of God stable stagnant church stand boldly on the Word of God stand up against evil star-gazing starstruck stars step by step stranded stress statistics stress study for yourself suffering summer camp swaddling clothes sycamore symbol of God's love and reassurance symbol of God\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\\\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of Gods love and reassurance teaching science technology teen questions teens telescope temple of the Holy Spirit terebinth thank you thankfulness thankful the apple of his eye the finish line the human eye the lion will defend itself the seeing eye the wooing of God theology think for yourself thriving in Christ traditions traffic trees trials tribulation troubles trust Jesus truth turn to God ultamarathon ultrarunner unborn child uncage the Lion uncertain uncover the truth unfair universe unpredictable use your gift vine virgin birth visual reminders vote wethering the storm where two worlds collide willow windows to the soul wonder of boys work ethic worldview worth fighting for worth it worthy of protection young earth your circle matters youth ministry youth zeal for worship zoo guide