Start with JESUS  

A New Year's Devotional | by Alex Shute

The year 2020 was tough and painful. We did not expect the year to turn out the way it did. It was different, and it was different in so many ways for everyone. It felt like God hit the pause button that caused us to dig deep. We asked God difficult questions. Questions like “What is God up to?” or “Why is God letting this happen?”. 

We can write it off and pretend it didn’t happen. It may be easy to say that it was an unpleasant year. But I’ve also come to realize that all of these would be a missed opportunity. For every crisis, there’s an important lesson. Let’s not waste the crisis by looking at the past setbacks. 

Despite 2020’s events, we can welcome 2021 with renewed courage and hope because of our Almighty God! Let’s move forward and turn every day to our Savior Jesus Christ. 

Using the name of JESUS as an acronym, let me encourage you of what new things we can look forward to in the new year.

Psalm 30:11 says “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”

We have new joy waiting for us. Despite all the negative things that are happening around us, we can look forward to the promises of God. No matter what adversaries and obstacles we faced, He can give us victory and joy. We can trust in the Lord that He will turn our mourning into dancing.

In Revelation 21:5, the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

God is our Creator. The Bible begins with the majestic story of His creation of the universe, and it concludes with his creation of a new heaven and a new earth. This is a big hope and encouragement for us. We will be made perfect like Him.

“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 11:19

In this verse, we are reminded that there is no one beyond God’s reach. No person can run away from God. He can reach everyone. Even if we are hard-hearted and stubborn towards God, God can give us a new spirit within us. 

We can also look forward to a new us during this year. One way to be confident in our relationship with Christ is to have a transformed life. Our new identity is that we are made new in Christ. 

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

God is already preparing what is impossible to become possible. He is already preparing something new for you and me. We just need to keep the faith and continue to trust in Him.

In Summary

Till that day He calls us home, may we be steadfast. Growing in humility. Knowing Jesus Christ more and more and being found faithful. Let the people around us experience in us the joy, peace, and hope we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Copyright 2021 Alex Shute

Photo courtesy: Rakicevic Nenad @

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