When we came out of 2019, most were optimistic about 2020. At the conclusion of that disastrous year, we breathed a collective sigh of relief, welcoming 2021. In yet another cruel twist of fate, revived hopes were dashed as many chronic woes lingered and new worries surfaced. So what do we make of our prospects for 2022?
Realistically, we know that there is no silver bullet, no magic wand, no panacea for the myriad ills that confront America, much less the world. There won’t be any superhero rushing to the rescue in the nick of time like the endings of Hollywood movies. And pray as you will, it is not likely you will wake up one morning with every tribulation gone.
For those tempted to dismiss realism as pessimism absent of faith, it is important to keep even scriptural references in perspective. The Bible tells us that there will always be wars and rumors of wars; that the poor will be among us always, and that the righteous will constantly face indignations. Human suffering is a part of life, no matter what we think.
So what then can we embrace as we enter the New Year? In what armor can we adorn our bodies, minds and spirits to fend off challenges of the perilous path ahead, given the knowledge out of the gate that the issues that we confront may be many, with no easy solutions and even fewer folk committed to the work required to implement change?
The first thing necessary is to understand that the single most potent weapon against despair and adversity is HOPE.
Every important accomplishment of mankind emerged when there were few options and a multitude of needs. The adage says necessity is the mother of invention, which means that ultimately, we have to rebuke our condition in favor of our possibilities.
It is easier for too many to simply accept the status quo; that social justice is elusive; that we are still last hired and first fired; that Republicans have no will to fight for the have-nots, and Democrats have no heart for the struggle; that the one percent will continue to prosper while the income gap is an ever broadening chasm, that the most vulnerable receive the least attention. These are the grave givens, the stark reality.
But HOPE inspires visionaries and motivates the resistance. HOPE instills in us the faith that God will make a way out of no way even though we see no path ahead. HOPE reminds us that though we have a long and arduous journey ahead, we have progressed immeasurably farther than those who carved the path for our journey. HOPE enables resourcefulness, and encourages use of every tool at our disposal to construct change.
HOPE empowers us to view ourselves less as VICTIMS of circumstance and more as VICTORS, people capable of forging the unimaginable, the inconceivable, and the unprecedented. There must be the constant reminder that change relies on what we are willing to do, that faith without works is dead. We cannot afford the luxury of lethargy.
One philosopher said, “Anybody who has ever struggled to plant his feet onto the floor in the morning knows that life can be hard, it can be stressful, it can be overwhelming. But each of those negative, less than optimal feelings immediately dissipate in the inspirational presence of genuine hope.”
Hope must be defined as a verb, requiring that you need to do more than speak it. Maya Angelou said, “When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing that you are working to make things better.”
In conclusion, never acquiesce to unsavory conditions or be discouraged at what you deem the pace of progress. Don’t be dissuaded from your dream because it hasn’t happened yet. Your miracle, your crowning achievement, the realization of your dream may be right around the corner so claim 2022 as your year!
Get away from negative energy, no matter what it takes and move into this year on the HOPE that this will be your best year ever. Then a year from now, offer your testimony as an example to inspire those who need an example of the good that can come from hope. And in all you do in 2022, keep God in it, if you want to succeed.
Here are the ways to assure that God is in your 2022 plan, according to Bishop T.D. Jakes. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your plan benefit someone other than yourself?
- Have you been divinely prepared for the path you are pursuing?
- Are your motives pure?
- Do you perceive that God inspired your vision?
- Are you strong and faithful enough to endure the process – no matter what it takes – or are you merely attracted to the promise?
Ask yourself these questions as you approach your 2022 game plan and prepare yourself for the victory. “Eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, nor have entered into the hearts of man the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Prepare to be blessed in 2022!