Looking at this New Year, one of the first significant events on the national calendar is the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States.
I’ve wondered … how can one person shoulder the heavy burden of the presidency? Especially when, instead of being supported and encouraged, he is attacked and vilified even before he holds the office?
What about you? Do you find yourself overwhelmed with the prospect of 2017? Do you now have, added to the list of the unfinished tasks of 2016, a new list of more goals and tasks to be completed? Are you facing a new year that possibly holds not only joys and blessings, but heartaches and hardships? Problems and pressures? Illness and loneliness? And on the periphery of your life do you have detractors? Critics? Those who hope you fail? With all that’s facing us, how can you and I live out 2017, not just somehow, but triumphantly?
Where is strength to be found for a triumphant New Year and all that it holds?
Read Isaiah 40:27-31
I. IN GOD’S PERSON
- What were the feelings of God’s people in Isaiah 40:27? Describe them in your own words, related to your feelings, as you look back on 2016 and forward to 2017.
- Where did Isaiah direct the people’s attention in Isaiah 40:28?
A. His Names
- What two names of God are given in Isaiah 40:28? What does each name mean to you?
- Match each name with one of the following verses: Genesis 1:1; 1 Chronicles 29:10-13; Colossians 1:15-17; Nehemiah 9:5-6; Psalm 103:17-18; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Isaiah 42:5-7.
- Which of the above verses is the most meaningful to you?
- Give as many different names for God as you can find from the following verses: Exodus 3:13-15; Judges 6:24; Psalm 23:1; 19:14; Isaiah 9:6; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Revelation 1:8; 5:5, 6; 19:13, 16. Which name encourages you the most, especially as you look forward into the New Year?
- If you can, list other names for God with verses that come to your mind.
B. His Nature
- What two attributes of God does Isaiah focus on in Isaiah 40:28?
- Give as many different attributes of God as you can from the following verses: Genesis 22:8, 14; Psalm 3:3, 5; 27:1; Exodus 15:2, 26; Isaiah 63:1; Ezekiel 48:35.
- Which attribute encourages you the most today?
- If you can, list other attributes with verses that come to your mind.
II. IN GOD’S PROVISION
- In Isaiah 40:29, what does the prophet say God promises to do for the weary?
- What was Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 that confirms God keeps His promises?
- How does Zechariah 4:6 explain Paul’s key to strength when weak?
- If you do not have strength, what could be one reason? See James 4:2-3.
- Pray Ephesians 3:16-19 for yourself and those you love at the beginning of this New Year.
III. IN GOD’S POWER
- What three different types of activity are given in Isaiah 40:31?
- How is each activity required as you live out 2017?
- Describe in your own words the difference between each activity.
- In what situation did David find himself, and how did he soar over it? Read 1 Samuel 17:45, 47, 50.
- What obstacles or giants will you face in 2017? How does 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 encourage you to soar over them?
- How are we instructed to run? See Hebrews 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 9:24; 2 Timothy 4:6-7.
- What is your specific race to run this year?
- How are we to walk in 2017? Consider Ephesians 4:1-3; 2 Peter 3:14; Hebrews 12:14.
- What promise does God give in Deuteronomy 33:25?
As we settle in to 2017, join me in claiming this promise for the New Year. Then drive the stake of your faith down deep into Ephesians 3:20-21, applying it to your experience of God’s Person, God’s Provision, and God’s Power to see you through 2017 … triumphantly!
The outline headings for this month’s Bible study questions were authored by Peter Rochelle, senior pastor of Church on the Rock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Used by permission.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her latest book, The Daniel Key, is available from major booksellers.