The start of a new year generally brings about a time of reflection upon the year before it. The good, the bad, and the ugly… Lessons learned and life experience gained…

The words clean slate, fresh start and new chapter also come to mind when transitioning into the new. Some will make resolutions while others will set their sights on dreams yet to be, but I want to challenge myself (and you) to think beyond the natural, beyond losing weight and getting healthy, beyond financial wealth and dreams coming to pass, I want stronger faith, new-found faith like never before. Because if I achieve greater faith, I also will have the gumption to achieve my other goals.

I believe God is calling each believer to go deeper in their understanding of Him and His ways. To know Christ more is to know who I am more, to know that my life has meaning and purpose much more than what my eyes can see and ears can hear. I want faith that reaches into eternity, where my prayers meet promise, and where my actions touch the heart of God.

This year, may we focus on what is important and of eternal value over earthly desires. May we point the lost to the cross and may we be the light in the darkest of times. May we not settle on our comforts, but strive to achieve what God has called each of us as individuals to do. May we trust God as Daniel did in the lions’ den, as Gilead did when he stood without numbers against a great army, and as Esther did when her people were about to be slaughtered, and as Stephen did even unto to death.

2018 holds extraordinary possibilities. Things that you have been believing for, seeds that you have sown long ago are taking root. Keep watering them with your praise, keep deepening them with your worship, keep strengthening them with your prayer. God is an on-time God. He knows what we need in this new year, this new season of our lives, and may our faith rise up to meet our expectancy from the Lord. 

Have the courage to ask yourself every single day. “What have I done today that has made my faith stronger than yesterday?”

There is much to be done in this new year, and there is new-found faith for each of us to go along with it. Relinquish the old into God’s hands and let Him give you beauty for ashes, blessings for your burdens, and strength for your weakness. I pray that you and your family have a truly blessed 2018 and that we grow together in Christ!



Mandy Fender

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