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Micah 6:8 (NIV)

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

   And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

   and to walk humbly with your God.

 

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Romans 8:28 (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Main Idea

As 2016 comes to a close, we are reminded that our hope is found in a God of new beginnings. A God who is faithful to show up and care for us in all seasons. Often the beginning of a year brings about a sense of freshness as we dream of resolutions and who we could become over the course of the next 365 days. New Year’s Resolutions are well and good, but with a new year upon us, we are challenged to be overflowing with the awareness of God in all circumstances—comforted in nothing else than the fact that God is in control, no matter what this year may bring.

 

Think...

  1. What does it mean to live and believe that we can walk humbly with God? How would you actually walk into each day of 2017 if you were completely confident that God is walking into the room with you?

  2. When things are not going well, verses like Romans 8:28 can be hard to read. Can you think of any situations during 2016 when it was more difficult to accept that God works all things for the good of those who love him? What would it look like for you step toward trusting that God is setting you up for something good?

  3. Eddy describes what the setup of a perfect surprise party often entails. The host sets up distractions and delays that may be frustrating at first, but they are leading up to something magnificent planned just for someone special in an effort to show them love. The Lord desires to give us such a gift, answering every prayer we would pray if we only knew all that the Lord knows. Is it easy for you to trust God that much to allow him to write your story, despite adversities and downturns?

Discuss...

  1. Read Jeremiah 33:3. At the beginning of a year, people often resolve to pray more often. How does this verse inform or change your prayer life? How can being mindful that God answers us when we call him change how we approach him in prayer?

  2. A lot of the time, the suspense that is killing us or the backward momentum that makes us resentful is just God setting the stage, lining up a wonderful surprise for us. What are ways you can trust God in tough scenarios? What are ways you can encourage friends when they are in the midst of a storm?

  3. In this new year, how would you live if you truly believed that the Almighty was always with you, walking by your side? How would this affect the way you approach your career, family, friendships?

Next Steps

As you begin to think through how to best approach this new year, spend time in prayer with God. He is in control of whatever comes next. Ask him to reveal how you can best walk humbly with him this year, acting justly and showing mercy to those he places in your life.