“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when
it does happen you will believe that I am He.” John 13:19
For a few years now I’ve done this. Before or at the beginning of the new year I will pray and spend time with God and in His Word and ask Him to highlight verses that will be significant to me this year. They may be encouraging words, promises, warnings or even ones that seem to have little meaning now, but may come in handy throughout the year. Last year I had two chapters and one verse, so three passages in total and, let me tell you, they were spot on. I read them the other day and marvelled at how accurately God predicts the future. Who woulda thought?
Now, I don’t flip until I find verses I like. I flip until I feel God is highlighting a verse, interesting or exciting or not. I try not to question the whole process too much, but when I just feel deep down – you know, that deep down still calm feeling – that a passage is important, I mark it. He may highlight super encouraging best-year-of-your-life verses, but we must be open to anything.
Two years ago God highlighted Isaiah 43:2 for me. “When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Let me tell you, that is not a verse you want to be gettin’ at the beginning of the year. I had been hoping more for of an ask-anything-in-my-name-and-you-shall-have-it type verse. But, friends, that just ain’t how my year went.
So here’s why it’s a good reason to get some yearly verses.
God speaks to His people. There may be some verse of encouragement and hope God wants you to keep close and, when you most need it, you’ll be able to read it and know God is with you. There may be a warning from Proverbs that you think is off the wall, but later comes in handy when you have a business decision to make and remember God’s word for you. There could be a promise of bearing a child, moving away or going on missions. Keeping your passage handy and bringing them out in tricky times has often helped me gain perspective.
It gives God a chance to show Himself to you. We are selfish, self-involved and self-centered people. We go through our day, perhaps many days, and may find it difficult to hear God. Or, we may not even know how to hear from God. I believe this practice gives God an opportunity to work His way into our lives. Let’s face it, God already knows what’s going to happen and we don’t. Using this as a way to let God in also gives God a chance to show Himself mighty to us.
It gives you an opportunity to pray with your children and talk to them about God and how He is not just someone to sing to on Sundays. Some may find it hard to broach spiritual subjects with their children. If they are old enough this is a great way to have all the family thumb through the bible and pray together about what verses might be important throughout this year. It shows you are not just a Sunday pew sitter but an everyday follower, the best you know how. Look people, we don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be willing.
Here’s a printable if you want to write some verses or passages and hang them somewhere so you can be reminded of His plan for you!