The Upper Room Devotion for Monday Janurary 1st, 2024 was written by P. E. Uloh of Edo, Nigeria
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
John 1:1-9 NRSV
I felt extremely grateful at the New Year's Eve service in 2021. it indeed felt like a new beginning, a new hope against the odds of the past year. Yet after the service, I was in tears as I thought of all the things I didn't have. I wanted so much for the new year, but I didn't know how or where to start. I felt hopeless.
That night, I decided to pray again. I didn't ask for anything, Instead, inspired by 1 Thessalonians 5:18, I gave thanks for all that I had, and I felt blessed by everything on my list. After this prayer of gratitude, I had Genesis 1:3 in my heart and a new understanding of the verse. In Genesiss 1:1-2 it was the beginning, and it looked hopeless. In that bleak situation, God spoke light. With that light came hope, and God kept speaking, forming sky, seas, and land. What God wanted for the future, day after day, God spoke into being. Until it was all good, God spoke.
As believers, when faced with a hopeless situation, the first thing we can do is invite the Light into that situation. We can speak: "Thanks you, Jesus." He is the light of the world (see In. 8:12). With Christ's light comes hope. My resolution this year is to speak light through all my days.
Thought for the Day
With the light of Christ comes great hope.
Dear God, help us to be grateful in all situations. Show us how to speak light and goodness into our lives and the lives of those around us. Amen.