I’m not a fan of January. As the warmth, light, and joy of Christmas fade and the New Year’s resolutions fail, the darkness, deadness, and dreariness of winter seem to reign unchallenged. If you are like me, it can be easy to lose heart.

Maybe you didn’t accomplish the things you had hoped for in the past year. Regrets over the failures or disappointments of several years may dog you during these dark days.

Blessedly, God has given us Isaiah 35. In the midst of Israel’s darkest time, when they had failed God again and again and were about to experience the deserved and devastating consequences, He cast them this ray of hope. Their discipline would not be forever. The promised King would come, and everything would be made right.

It helps me too, during my darkest times, to know that I don’t have to depend on my own strength. In the deadness of January, His Spirit whispers to my heart, “Be strong; fear not!” He will strengthen my weak hands and make my feeble knees firm. He’s not finished with me yet. As dark as things may seem, His plan for me is unfailing, and my heart can hope!

Are you in a dark time right now? Don’t lose hope. No matter what mistakes you have made in the past, God still loves you and has a plan for you. He is there with you.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you that my darkness is never dark to you. Thank you for the assurance that your good and gracious plan for me will never fail. I choose to rest in your strength and hope.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.