As I look ahead into 2012, I am very aware that along the way there will be circumstances and choices that affect the outcome of my goals for the year.

Realizing this today, helps me face tomorrow.

I wonder if Jesus knew ahead of time that he would face the devil in the wilderness.

I think He did, and I think that is why He was prepared to answer every temptation with Scripture.

Today, think of verses that you can claim that will help you in the goals you are setting for this new year.

Write these verses on index cards or place them in a notebook.

Carry them with you, tape them on your mirror or refrigerator, do whatever it takes to soak them into your heart.

I’ll share my verses for this year with you tonight.

Do you have a word for this year?

Mine is “perseverance.”

To me, this means that when I run into obstacles, I am going to jump over them or figure out a way around them.  I am going to press on toward my goals…no matter what.

You may already have HUGE obstacles looming in front of you that make the thought of even trying to set goals seem impossible.

Look past those obstacles.

Don’t allow them to overshadow your dreams.

Jesus had a goal when He came to earth.  Along the way, He faced obstacle after obstacle.

In the end, though, He accomplished His task with inexpressible beauty and perfection.

Our goals pale in comparison to the one Jesus carried in His heart, but He knew that in the end it would be worth the pain, the agony, the rejection……….

So, as you set goals, be prepared for obstacles and remember how great it will feel to say, “I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Even when you feel all alone, remember you are not!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him.

Think of the joy that is just within your reach if you are willing to endure!

Praying for you all!

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:3

My dear friend, Martha, has stage three Primary Peritoneal Cancer.  She will be going to Houston (MD Anderson) soon for surgery.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Charlotte began chemo yesterday.  They are checking her two sisters for a bone marrow match.

These two families are starting 2012 in the face of overwhelming obstacles.  Please lift them daily in your prayers.