Looking Ahead


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If the year 2022 were a book, one look at the table of contents forecasting what’s ahead would cause us to close the covers in a hurry, never to open it again.  We have come through some difficult times, and based on  what we  saw, heard, and experienced in 2021, we can do one of two things:  shut the book or  open its pages,  intent on finding fresh reasons to hope for a better year ahead.

As we try to peer into the ensuing months, what we see may look daunting, and we may be tempted to do the usual new year’s thing: make resolutions that will help us keep our chin up in the anticipated uncertain times.  But resolutions usually lose their power a  few days after they’re made. What we need more than resolutions is hope. Psychologists tell us that “hope is not a luxury” (USA Today, Oct. 10, 2020); indeed, it is a necessity. The quality of our life is influenced by our level of hope. Recently, I was markedly encouraged when I heard a minister say, “Hope is the greatest gift that God can give us.” How reassuring to know that hope is a gift—and from such a benevolent Source.

At the start of this new year, we would do well to lay hold on hope.  Poet Emily Dickinson’s  uncommon picture of hope portrays it as a tangible, achievable part of our life.

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Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches  in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

I’ve always liked these words  for their fresh approach to spurring the reader to hope. The poem presents us with an ebullient bird-of-hope image, something that  resides on the inside, living within our soul where its sweet music sets the pace for authentic,  optimistic  living. This hope  is a soul-generated source of strength. We are buoyed up from within and can keep a balanced outlook, despsite  the mitigating circumstances that surround us.  At the outset of 2022, we have a lot to hope for. High on our list is a day without COVID in any of its variants.  Contemplating such a prospect  should motivate us to sing a hopeful tune, even when we can’t find the right words to do so.

With the gift of hope in our hearts, let’s confidently sing ourselves through the year ahead. The Apostle Paul assures us that  “hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5), and we can believe this declaration because the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts.

May we all have  a hope-filled 2022.




“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
both sure and stedfast…”
(Hebrews 6:19)



  • Ramona

    Amen Judith! Very beautifully written. At the worst crisis of my life, I begged God for hope that (in years, I assumed) things would be okay. And that hope did not disappoint. And it didn’t take years, either. Thank you for the reminder, and I wish you a very blessed and happy New Year!

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Ramona,
      I’m glad you were able to receive the post. I had a little trouble sending it out. Thank God it came through all right.
      A new year is upon us, but we need not fear. All along we’ve had a great Source of hope. Let’s keep trusting Him. JN

      • Pauline Xavier

        Thank you for reminding us, never to lose hope or give in to discouragement. The Source of all that is truth and life is with us always. Blessings for a year that is full of hope and joy!

        • Judith Nembhard

          Hello Pauline,

          The spirit of hope lives in you and shows in your words and actions. As you’ve said, the Source of “truth and life is with us always.”
          That is a most comforting thought. With this in mind, we’ll remain encouraged and sing from our hearts in the year ahead.
          Thanks for the helpful comment. JN


    Thanks for encouraging me to embrace hope as the gift to take me into my 2022 future. Happy New Year!

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Iris,
      Was today a great day for you? I hope it will be the beginning of a year of rich and precious blessings.
      You have such a wonderful attitude toward life—so mindful of what is good and living it.
      Remembering you fondly. JN

  • Nanette Schell

    Dear Judith,
    Thank you for your message of hope and thank you for giving me the hope through your beautiful messages throughout the years. We all need to hope for a better year ahead and count our blessings as we all go forth into the unknown. May you and Mr. Michael as well as Douglas have a wonderful year ahead as this is what I hope for for you.
    With much love to my dear friend. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022
    Nan XXX

    • Judith Nembhard

      Nan, you are such a dear friend, always ssupportive. From your newsy letter, I can say that your year
      will once again be filled with exciting and satisfying things. God be with you, my dear friend. Happy New Year! JN

  • Fartema

    Fresh reasons to hope for a better year? I’ve composed a Haiku poem to give me hope. I shared it on my Facebook post, and here I share it with you.

    Get in position
    To follow God’s Principles,
    Into the unknown.

    That’s Hope! The ‘position’ is on my knees in prayer. Study the Word to learn God’s Principles to live by because the universe is full of surprises.

    • Judith Nembhard

      This is such a well executed haiku, Fartema, and it’s not just well done, it has strong meaning right down to the last word. I love it and will remember it. I hope others who read it here will copy it for encouragement. May the bird of hope keep singing in your heart. Thanks for writing. JN