The road is uncertain but you can count on some things.

©Joy Dunlap

What do you expect this year to bring?   What can you count on?

We may set goals, establish resolutions, pick words of the year, and dive into new activities to try to make life better.  Expectations may be that if we do X, Y might happen.  Or if we do X long enough or well enough, Y will surely happen.

Several years ago, I started walking every morning with a few women. I expected I would lose weight if I did it regularly.

That didn’t happen.

But I did hone my muscles, strengthened my legs and heart, and built endurance.

The best benefit turned out to be the relationship-building that happened as I got to know the women in my neighborhood more.

That’s true as we walk with God too.

Sometimes what we hope for – even what we pray for – doesn’t happen. But we can be strengthened in the process, and our relationship with God can deepen during difficult times.

In this unpredictable world with its chaos, challenges, and adverse circumstances, what can we truly count on?  Let’s look in God’s Word for nine of the many things we, as followers, can expect from Him.

Count on God to be present even when you can’t “feel” Him.  (He’s already – and always – there!)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Count on God to carry you when you struggle to move forward, and to strengthen and support you as you walk with Him. 

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  Isaiah 46:4

Count on God to give you wisdom when you trust Him to guide. 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6

Count on God’s love to be big enough to embrace you when you feel defeated or desperate. Unloved or unseen. Heartbroken or hopeless.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35-37

Count on God’s forgiveness and mercy when you talk to Him about feeling guilty, ashamed, or burdened by past mistakes.   

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Count on God to give you peace and rest when you are weak and weary, when the baggage you’re hauling is too heavy.   

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Count on God to strengthen you when you are struggling, weak or discouraged. 

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Count on God to comfort you when you grieve, or long for what once was, or what might have been. 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  2 Corinthians 1:3

Count on God’s wonders in the world.  Every day. 

Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.  Psalm 111:2-3

As we rely on God, lean into His love, and experience His faithfulness, we’ll hone our mind muscle memory of His goodness, and our relationship with Him will grow sweeter and stronger.  

As we discover more of God’s character, we’ll build more of ours.   

You can count on that. 

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16 NIV

  • What is a personal expectation you have for this year?
  • How has someone let you down when you expected them to do something? 
  • Which one of these actions of God is most important or most reassuring to you right now?  Why? 
  • In what way can you release and rely on God more this year? 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™

*Scripture references are from New International Version (NIV)




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