One Word, One Theme for 2018

Before the new year arrived, I started pondering, “what should my new word be: Fullness…Trust…Faith…Impossible?” All these words felt important to me, things I pray, themes I hope to see in my life.

One day last month, it finally became clear — FAITH.

The verse popped off the page:

…for truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

The definition of faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something, a strong belief in God.

I could look back on 2017 and see that I didn’t always have faith, I didn’t always trust that God would move mountains or make the impossible possible. But He did. Over and over, He showed up. He reminded me that He is faithful.

We can’t always see God’s faithfulness until we reflect on the past, a hard season we have survived or a life lesson we finally learned or relearned. In the middle, we are to have faith. Faith means believing, knowing, trusting, hoping. That’s trusting God with our unknowns, what we cannot see.

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At the end of last year, I did a reflection exercise with a friend. We thought about what we had learned and what we needed to leave behind as we welcomed 2018. A new year always offers a new beginning. I knew the moment was important and I knew one big thing I wanted to leave in last year — doubt. We wrote on my paper, “doubt that God provides.” I dropped it in a bowl of water and watched it disappear, hoping I could remember…

God provides daily bread, not weekly bread.

God knows exactly what we need and when.

God is a Mountain Mover.

We have faith. He moves mountains.

We fully trust. He makes a way.

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To believe with certainty, somebody said, one has to begin by doubting.
-Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy

The opposite of doubt is faith. And I can’t reach a place of full faith without feeling and experiencing doubt first. I can still struggle to trust God with certain areas of life. He has to bring me to a place of faith again. Because on this side of the new heaven and earth, until Jesus returns, we will doubt. We will have to fight for our faith.

May we choose to trust, hold onto hope, and have a fullness of faith in the God who moves those mountains in our lives. It is not impossible. God is able.