In January 2022, I spent 2-3 weeks prayerfully considering my “verse for the year”. Each day, I read various devotionals and areas of the Bible and asked the Lord to speak to me somehow so I would be drawn to a verse or verses that would help me grow closer to Him and mature in my faith. One day as I read, I just knew that verse should be 1Thessalonians 5: 16-18 which says:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
So, I wrote it down, printed it out, and put it in my Bible. I memorized those short verses and asked God to show me how I could live out the three “commands” to rejoice, pray, and give thanks in everything! It was not always an easy task. Especially since I was still living with constant concern for my daughter who was facing off stage 3 breast cancer and recovering myself from a severely broken leg two months earlier. Praying was a daily part of my life, how was I supposed to do it without ceasing? And, “rejoice always”? Really? Give thanks in all things? How in the world could God expect me to do that? But, as I continued to journal and ask God how to rejoice and give thanks, He gave me new insights on how training to make these practices front and center day after day could and would grow me in unexpected ways. I’m still a work in progress and will never live those verses perfectly, but they have become so resident in my heart and mind, I am much more able to find joy in the midst of trying circumstances and be thankful for God’s faithfulness no matter what life delivers.
How About You?
Are you interested in finding and focusing on a key verse for 2023? It may take a while to find it and you will probably forget to read it or apply it some days. But, keep at it and I know you will be blessed in unexpected ways.
Ideas for finding your key verse:
- Read 1-2 chapters from various books of the Bible each day and ask God to lead you to a scripture that deeply resonates with you right now.
- Use a Bible Promise Book to find scripture related to specific concerns or areas of your life.
- Ask friends to share a few of their favorite verses with you.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring a verse to mind. If you don’t know where it is in the Bible, do a word search on www.BibleGateway.com
One thing I know for sure:
There is amazing, supernatural power in God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 puts it this way: “For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
When we diligently study and meditate on His word, it is like turning a spiritual surgical knife on ourselves. It is able to cut out the lies we believe or areas of disobedience and replace them with live-changing truth. Just imagine how magnificently God could transform each of us over the next year if we do our part to let a key scripture penetrate our heart all year long!