To 2024 with HOPE [by Misti Sammons]

To 2024 with HOPE [by Misti Sammons]

What is it about the dawning of January 1, that can birth a myriad of emotions and wonder in us?  Many people focus on making “New Year’s Resolutions” since there seems to be the notion of motivation due to a fresh start.  This holiday often is accompanied with new goals, turning away from bad habits, and seeking personal betterment.  However, the emotions that come with the turning of the calendar are not so clear cut.  

Allow me to be transparent in hopes that you will be able to identify with one or more of these self analysis.  In those years that I experienced hardship, whether it be financial difficulties, strained relationships, and even the loss of a friend or family member, I often approached January 1 with the thoughts of “good riddance!” to the ending of that year.  I saw the new year as the closing of a painful chapter and the opening to the belief that surely the next will be much improved.  In other words, I had the thought of “it can only go up from here!”   But as I reflect on those difficult years, I realize that assessment was not always the case.  I also found myself thinking “is this next year going to continue with trials?”  “Will the economy tank?”  “Is my job secure?”  “Will I experience loss again?”  “Is another hardship on the way?”  You see, if we are not careful, we can allow our negative circumstances to take center stage in our minds and shatter any hopes and dreams of the future.  While there is something exciting about what another year holds, there can also be the accompaniment of anxiety of the unknown.

So, is there a way to prepare for any of these possible outlooks, and, if so, how do we prepare?  I have wonderful news for both you and me.  God has provided a way!  But first, we must recognize the source of what can seemingly cripple us as we anticipate the future and that is our thoughts.  Every day when we wake up, we are met with thoughts.  I am a firm believer that where the enemy attacks us the most is in our minds.  The devil knows that if he is able to take our minds captive, that captivity can lead to doubt rather than faith, fear rather than peace, and even depression rather than victory.  While we cannot always control the thoughts that come to mind, we can control what thoughts we allow to take root.

So, how do we control what thoughts we allow to remain?  One way is to remain in the Word of God.  When Satan came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus responded each time with “it is written.”  When Satan comes against us with thoughts of negativity, hopelessness, fear, etc., we must attack those thoughts with promises from God.  Satan may come against us with facts, but God’s word is Truth.  Truth is what prevails.  The fact may be that you are grieving, but the truth is “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  The fact may be that we do not have the money to pay the bills this week, but the truth is that if we tithe and give offerings, He “will rebuke the devourer” for our sakes (Malachi 3:10).  Declare the word of God!

Second, we must focus our minds on God and who He is.  Isaiah 26:3 states, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  When we intentionally think about God, on His character, on His goodness, on His faithfulness, on His love for us, the negative thoughts cannot remain.  God’s peace will evict the thoughts from the enemy! 

Third, we must pray and lift up thanksgivings to God.  Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:6-7… 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” 

Often we lift up our requests, but we forget to thank Him for what He has done.  Thanksgiving is important in building our faith because it reminds us how He has answered and worked in our lives.  But we must also focus on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy.  These are counter to what the enemy attempts to make us think on.  

No matter what lies ahead, we have the assurance that God is faithful, that He will never leave us, and that He has a hope and a future in store for you and me.  Trust in His character and come into 2024 with hope.

Article written by Misti Sammons

About the author:

Misti, a native of east Tennessee, was married to Scott Grantham for ten years.  In that time, they birthed and successfully ran a multi-million dollar company on the Gulf Coast.  However, Scott was tragically killed in a private plane crash on November 29, 2010. At 31 years old, Misti found herself a widow.

While praying one morning, she found herself standing on the words of Jesus found in Mark 11:24:  “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  In that moment, she prayed for God to heal her heart of grief, and every day after that, she declared she was healed. She knew if she was still alive, she still had an assignment from God to fulfill. 

In August 2011, less than nine months after the death of her husband, the Lord directed Misti to go on a three day fast.  At the end of that fast, Misti experienced an instantaneous, emotional healing in her heart.  In her words, she had an “emotional rebirth.”  After this encounter, the Lord directed Misti to Isaiah 61:3, “…to comfort those who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning.” She knew her assignment was to tell her testimony of healing to those who are grieving and to let them know that God is indeed willing and able to heal the brokenhearted. 

While Misti’s testimony is powerful, she has also been entrusted with the gift of teaching.  She sold her company in 2011 and moved back to her hometown in Tennessee.  After completing her BA in History from Lee University in 2012, she went on to acquire her Masters in Theological Studies with an emphasis in Biblical Studies from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee.  Misti’s passion for the original Greek and Hebrew shines through as she teaches the Word.  She has spoken in various churches, ladies ministry groups, and Teen Challenge groups desiring to share the good news of the Gospel.

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