Unleashing Hope As You Learn to Ponder

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But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. — Luke 2:19

Happy New Year. Like last week, I am not sure if you will read this today. But if you do, today begins 2018.

Christmas was a week ago, and for many of us, we are done with Christmas. We’ve stopped listening to the music, and for some, you are done with the decorations – sometimes my kids have taken their trees down before New Year’s even gets here.

We tend to compartmentalize the Christmas story like we do life. It’s done, and we go on with life with business as usual. But for Mary and Joseph, it was all just beginning. In the midst of the narrative, Luke 2:19 is an interesting pause in the story.

Mary has had nine months to process the miracle of having the baby Jesus in her womb. The birth has occurred, and now life goes on. Had she even begun to process all that would occur in the life of Christ-child?

Sometimes we do the same. Life spirals out of control, and we need to stop and ponder so that we don’t miss all that God is doing in our lives and the lives of everyone around us.

Dr. Ray Pritchard says that the word “pondered” goes deeper than “wondering.” It means to take the events as you have laid them out in your memory and then to go beneath the surface to try to understand what it all means and why it happened the way it did.

In his book, Simple Christmas, Ray gives  a simple exercise that may help you do some serious pondering:

  1. Set aside at least an hour of uninterrupted time.
  2. Find a quiet place. Don’t forget to put your cellphone on silent mode.
  3. Begin with a prayer asking God to show you the things he wants you to learn.
  4. Focus on the Lord. What have you learned about God’s character in the last year?
  5. What lessons seem to come up again and again? What have you learned about yourself (positively and negatively) this year?
  6. Ask the Lord for insight as to where he might be leading you in the year to come.
  7. Use all of this as the basis for some personal prayer requests for the next twelve months.

If you do this exercise with an open heart, God will give you insight about the past and hope for the future.

So how about it? Will you take maybe one day each week to ponder? I would love to hear what God is teaching you.

Have you downloaded the 2018 Bible Reading Plan from our website? You can download from this link: 2018 Bible Reading Plan.

Unleashing hope,

Bill Welte
President/CEO America’s Keswick

Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 1-3| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Think About This: “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do – if with His love He ordaineth.” From hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13

 

 

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