Devotional: Looking ahead at what 2023 will bring

Published 8:42 am Friday, February 3, 2023

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One month into the New Year and the future continues to appear challenging.

The year 2022 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years in history. There have been “wars and rumors of wars; earthquakes in diverse places,” and COVID-19. We are even directed to wear a facemask whenever we leave our homes. However, many of us can say as the gospel songwriter: “I’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord … He’s never failed me yet!” If there was ever a time we need to humble ourselves, and accept Jesus as our divine protector, savior, deliverer, Lord and king … I believe the time is now.

It is not too late to write down new year’s resolutions, personal objectives or goals for 2023. However, it is important that our objectives are based on the promises of God. Remember, Jesus promised he would never leave us or forsake us. The promises of God are a sure foundation upon which our faith is strengthened, and upon which we can be certain.

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I will share seven resolutions I believe are essential for this year:

1. Begin and end each day with prayer.

2. Do not waste time hating and/or resenting individuals who hurt your feelings or “wronged” you last year or in previous years. Remember, if you want to be forgiven you must be a “forgiver.” As a matter of fact, the word of God says pray for those who despitefully use you.

3. If you are not already a member of a church, this may be a very important opportunity for you to join a religious body for christian growth, fellowship and spiritual development.

4. Take time to encourage someone who is going through a difficult time: in their family, on the job or medically.

5. Treat everyone with respect: the janitor, repairman, waiter/waitress, etc.

6. Remember to say “Thank You” to the above named individuals.

7. Respect your family: show love and appreciation on a regular basis.

I believe this is going to be an incredibly challenging year: socially, economically, medically and politically. However, I believe the word of God when it says “no weapon formed against us (those who are in God) is going to prosper.” I also believe an age old saying my mother often quoted: “You reap what you sow!” Those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and savior will reap joy, happiness and eternal life.

Rev. Dr. Mary C. “Kitty” Smith can be reached at