Last year a friend of mine shared something she came across online-- about having a focus word for the year. I am sure that other bloggers have blogged about this, and obviously, someone came up with this fantastic idea. I wish I knew who originally came up with this idea, so I could give them proper credit. Unfortunately, I don’t. So, I will give a generic shout out to whoever it was-- Thank You! But, basically, the idea is that you choose one word that you focus on throughout the year.
I really liked this idea, and the word I chose for this year, 2015, was/is TRUST. I knew I needed to work on trusting God more. It was the perfect word for me. After almost a year of focusing on trusting God, I have realized that no matter what the issue or problem is at hand, God always takes care of it and me. Even though 2015 is almost over, I will still continue to focus on trusting God.
However, a new year means a new focus word. So, what will be my focus word for 2016? I have been pondering what my word for 2016 should be for a few weeks now. I was originally thinking JOY. Now, I am thinking maybe GRACE or HOPE or PEACE. The more I think about it, the harder it is to choose!
All four are good words and all have their merits. Whichever one I choose, I can keep the others as options for future years.
Joy is a great word to focus on. One of my best friends, Niki, told me that I needed to listen to a sermon from her pastor. She goes to Turning Point Church and they have a great app that I downloaded back in October. Even though I had the app, I had not taken the time to listen to any of the messages on it. While at lunch with Niki, and our other best friend, Jennifer, Niki pointed out a sermon that she knew I needed to listen to. It is called “In Joy”.
In his message, Pastor Mike talked about the difference between joy and happiness. I had never really thought about there being a difference between the two before. But, there is a huge difference! Happiness is something that comes from outside. Happiness is something that is fleeting and comes and goes. We tend to find happiness in things. (You know, like buying things.)
Joy, on the other hand, comes from inside. Joy is what you get when you find the Lord Jesus, believe in Him, and welcome Him to live in your heart. Joy is knowing that you are a changed person and that with Christ, you can do anything. I believe true joy comes from God and realizing that once you die, you will go to heaven. You will be with God and all of your loved ones who believed in God. What an amazing day that will be. The joy that we will find and experience when we get to heaven is unimaginable. Joy is knowing that our journey here on earth is short one, as are all the trials and troubles that come with it. Joy is knowing that when we are called to heaven, there will be no more sorrow, trouble, or fears.
However, I am still torn. I also like the idea of my focus word being hope. I recently finished reading the book Get Your Hopes Up!: Expect Something Good to Happen to You Every Day by Joyce Meyer. It in Joyce talks about how to harness hope and reap its rewards. Hope is believing something good is about to happen at any moment. I love the idea of living this way. It teaches us to focus on the good things that are happening in our lives, no matter how small they might be.
So…I haven’t made up my mind just yet as to what my focus word for 2016 will be. But, that’s ok. I still have a few more days to figure it out!
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.