“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.“ (NIV) Matthew 6:34
Like a clean new floor or a freshly painted wall, a new year feels like a fresh start. Despite past challenges, a new year still feels like an opportunity to begin a new chapter. However, even though we want to look eagerly ahead at the shiny new year, worry still creeps in. Matthew 6:25-34 is more relevant than ever.
What is the opposite of worry and fear? Gratitude and trust. Both are important when fighting off worry. Putting trust in God every day is vital to having a good attitude. The best thing we can do this year is model gratitude and trust for our kids.
In your daily prayers with your family, thank God for the day. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel (Philippians 4:6-7).
Ask your kids about the good things God provides in their lives. Make a list and tape it in a prominent place. Keep a list of positive things for yourself on your mirror to see every morning and evening. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens. He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing (James 1:17).
Ask your kids to help you be accountable about grumbling. If they catch you complaining, you owe them a nickel or a “pony ride” on your back. Recognize that fighting off a negative attitude takes a group effort! Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything that they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world, as you hold firmly to the message that gives life (Philippians 2:14-16).
Make a New Year’s resolution to focus on the positives with God’s help. Look for the good acts in your kids, even tiny ones, and tell them thanks. Build happier family memories for you and your kids. Enjoy a good laugh as frequently as possible! Dance or be silly with your spouse and kids whenever you can! Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Trust in God’s Plan
Remember that God has always been and will always be there for us. Everyone who honors your name can trust you, because you are faithful to all who depend on you (Psalm 9:10).
Commit your family to remembering God's faithfulness all year long. Create your own Memory Jar.
This year, make an intentional decision to trust God and talk about it together as a family. Ask God for help. Include ways that you trust God in your prayers, such as keeping your family safe, guiding your kids, and helping you maintain your faith walk. Make Jeremiah 17:7-8 this year’s theme verse.
What kinds of things make your children feel afraid? Have you and they taken those fears to Jesus in prayer? Trust that Jesus has promised to be with us when we’re afraid. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).
Replace worrisome thoughts with the Word of God. Be proactive and read God’s word regularly instead of waiting until you need it most (Ephesians 6:13-18).
Read or even memorize these short passages, and recall them when you or a family member feels anxious: Psalm 29:11, Psalm 55:17-18, Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 54:10, John 14:27, John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 9:8, and 1 Peter 5:6-7.
Rather than being overcome by worry, we can overcome worry with gratitude and trust in God. As we enter this new year, find comfort in Jesus’ words in John 14:27, “I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.”
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Time Management with Jesus: Don't Rush Past the Blessings