Written by Madeline Kalu
2020 is a year that many of us bade a cheerful farewell to.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus took away a normalcy that many of us had previously taken for granted, caused serious financial and socio-economic disruption, and challenged our hope for the future.
That advent of every new year is marked noticeably by a renewal of hope for a better future, a motivation to change, and a desire for new beginnings. Making New Year’s resolutions, like starting that new diet or taking up a new hobby, are just a few of the habits and mindsets that lay testimony to this.
However, with the arrival of 2021, our need for consolation that this year is going to be better than last year is more apparent than ever.
For that reason, we at Jacob’s Ladder have compiled a list of 18 Scriptures that we believe will encourage you and give you hope in 2021.
Note: Our Bible reference of choice is the NRSV, unless otherwise stated.
Isaiah 43:19–“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
1. Isaiah 43:19–“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
A desert or wilderness is a landscape that has long been exposed to unruly desolation. It can be associated with circumstances in our lives where we have experienced defeat, felt hopelessness, or endured failure.
However, where we see only a hopeless situation, God sees potential for change. He can reverse any arid landscape and cause waters to flow through it, returning dead vegetation to life and giving it a new beginning.
In 2021, God is going to revive situations in your life you assumed to be dead and re-open doors of opportunity and favor for you!
2. Jeremiah 29:11 – “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
From before we were in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5), God knew us and had a good plan for our lives. This plan includes living a fulfilled life with eager anticipation for the future.
At times, through prayer and revelation, we may be blessed to gain an insight into what God’s plans for our individual lives may entail. However, for the most part, God does not reveal His intentions for us, so that we may continue to trust and rely on Him, and give Him glory, instead of giving ourselves credit for life’s victories.
What is important to remember is that God keeps His promises. Therefore, regardless of what adversity we may encounter, may it be a global pandemic, financial struggles, or health issues – God’s promise of provision, direction, and hope that He declares in Jeremiah 29:11 will prevail over everything else.
3. Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
With the dawn of each new day, there is so much that we can be grateful to God for. First and foremost, He allowed us to wake up and be alive to see another day! This is a day that He has scheduled into your life timeline, and He has great and wonderful plans as to how you should spend it.
Your hope for a better future starts TODAY – with this day that the Lord has given you.
Therefore, instead of envisioning how much better things could be when this pandemic is over, or that you can start to enjoy life only after you have finished paying your bills, enjoy this day – with all its ups and downs – and appreciate the blessings that God has allowed you to experience in it.
2 Corinthians 5:17– “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”
4. 2 Corinthians 5:17– “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”
Once you have entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, the old version of you is gone and instead, you have a new beginning as a Child of God.
As an extension, the earthly values, societal pressures, fear, and worry which used to oppress you are rendered insignificant in comparison to the values that God wishes His children to abide under, such as to love one another (1 John 4:7), to abide in peace (John 14:27) and to trust Him and rest whilst He fights our battles for us (Exodus 14:14).
5. Philippians 3:13-14 –“Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The imagery presented in this Scripture of our lifespan being compared to running a race is an apt way of encouraging us to stop looking at the past and instead, focus our attention on God’s promises for the future.
Although 2020 was a difficult year for us, let us refuse to dwell in the past, and instead, ask God to direct our path towards reaching the goals He has set before us for 2021, which should include loving and helping others, and claiming His blessings over our lives.
6. Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
This is such a beautiful Bible verse, as it claims the source of our strength and power – Jesus Christ.
Through the grace of Jesus, which we receive by faith, we are infused with an eternal source of energy, which He uses to charge us and rejuvenate us with.
Consequently, when we are confronted with a situation that would otherwise overwhelm us, we can instead rely on the power of Jesus Christ and be confident of victory through the assurance that comes from being backed up by the divine majesty of Christ.
Although the difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may have followed us into 2021, know that you can face them and other challenges that may come your way with a fully charged battery pack of Christ’s power!
Proverbs 23:18 – “Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”
7. Proverbs 23:18 – “Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”
When it comes to an assurance of hope for the future, there are few Bible verses that claim God’s promises on this subject more than this one.
I love this Scripture as it evokes an expectation of good things to come. I hope that it evokes in you an expectation for the good things that God has planned for you for 2021.
8. Psalm 20:4 – “May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans.”
May the desires of our hearts be not of superficial or fleshly pursuits, but rather, may they be in accordance with the desires of God and that He may fulfill these plans for each and every one of us in 2021.
9. Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Did you know that when an eagle encounters a storm, it determinedly flies into it? It uses the tempest to mount itself upward until it reaches the heights above the storm where the sun is.
The Hebrew translation for “mount up” is alah, which means “to go up over a boundary or to ascend.” Just as the eagle is equipped with the strength to ascend in triumph over the storm, so too, does God give strength to us when we seek Him, which enables us to triumph over our adversities.
Isaiah 65:17 – “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
10. Isaiah 65:17 – “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
In Genesis 1:1 it states that in the beginning, “God created the heavens and the earth.” God was pleased with His creation and deemed it “good”.
However, since the fall of Adam and Eve and their forced exit from the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, earth has become an increasingly broken place, with one of the consequences being the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus.
In Isaiah 65:17, God promises that He will create new heavens and a new earth – He is making a clean slate. This doesn’t mean that He will annihilate our current existence, but it does mean that our Father is a God of new beginnings and that He will additionally heal us from the pain of the past.
11. Job 8:7 (CEV) – “Your future will be brighter by far than your past.”
What an encouraging Bible verse!
God keeps His promises, therefore we can enter 2021 with confidence, knowing that God will make this year better than the previous one.
Watch with wonder how God will take the small beginnings you made last year – at work, with new relationships, with health, and with your finances – and increase them exponentially.
Troubles that previously burdened you will have no effect on you, long-standing ailments and illnesses will be healed, and broken relationships will be repaired in Jesus’ name!
Just keep believing and keep walking in faith!
12. Ezekiel 36:26 – “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you, and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Have you noticed that the heart of man, in general, has become progressively colder, self-centered, and full of malice and hate?
In 2020, we experienced significant displays of these characteristics through the outbreaks of racial protest as a reaction to racial discrimination, racial profiling, and police violence.
Even our kids did not go through 2020 unscathed from discrimination and hate. Statistics from last year reveal that more kids around the world were falling prey to cyberbullying and the numbers are rising.
Is this truly the way we want to interact with each other?
Is this the kind of 2021 we want to experience as a global entity?
It doesn’t have to be. In Ezekiel 36:26, God offers to replace the cold and unyielding hearts of anyone who wishes to enter into a relationship with Him and to replace it with a cleansed and changed heart that is filled with the Spirit of God.
Lamentations 3:22-23 – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
13. Lamentations 3:22-23 – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
This is such a comforting Bible verse as it not only declares God’s everlasting love for us, but also His endless outpouring of mercy.
No matter how things were in the past for you in 2020, this is a new year, with fresh mercies that God provides you with every morning to confidently approach each day’s challenges, adventures, and discoveries.
14. Romans 8:31 – “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
In this Bible verse, the contrasting prepositions of “for” and “against” give a wonderful illustration of how God is always on our side and fights on our behalf.
Therefore, we need not become anxious or worry when a situation appears to be “against” us, as there is no power, person, or circumstance that is mightier than our Father who is “for” us!
15. Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
A friend once told me, that if she were to reject God and instead be completely self-reliant on making her way through life, she would not last even one day. Her life is fulfilled, she is full of peace and wisdom, and is a blessing to others as a result of her admitting that she needs God in her life. She trusts God with all her heart.
In the same way, God will guide your life in 2021, open doors that others have closed, give you spiritual revelation, and enable you to live a life of peace and joy, if you choose to put your trust in Him and not in yourself.
Psalm 40:3 – “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”
16. Psalm 40:3 – “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”
I love this Bible verse as it proclaims the joy, relief, and gratitude that the psalmist King David experiences after being delivered from a bleak, unbearable situation, which he describes as a “desolate pit, a miry bog” (Psalm 40:2).
Instead of leaving David to his miserable fate, God “set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure” (Psalm 40:2). In response to being freed and in gratitude for the new beginning he has been gifted, David opens his mouth in praise to God.
In 2021, God will also deliver you from the burdens, pain, and despair that weighed you down last year. When He does so, be like David, and audibly show God your gratitude by thanking Him and praising Him for His goodness and mercy!
When people see how God has rescued you from situations where a human solution was not possible, and you give Him all the glory for your deliverance, others will see that and also put their trust in God.
17. Ephesians 4:22-24 – “You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
The advent of a new year is a prime opportunity to renew yourself – to focus on new priorities, think more positively about yourself and others, and to gain a new perspective in your spiritual life, and become more intimate with God.
This year, make it a priority to focus less on what the world deems as important, and instead, aim to spend more time with God and His Word in order that you may grow spiritually, experience revelation, and be a blessing to others.
18. Matthew 7:7 – “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.”
This final Bible verse in our list summarizes with three verbs how we can greet 2021 with encouragement, hope, and faith in new beginnings:
Ask: God is not a fictitious figure who resides in Heaven on a golden throne, nor is He a cold-hearted harbinger of justice to hapless sinners on earth. God loves us and wishes to have a relationship with us. Just like a father loves a child, and will do anything to provide for him, so does God loves us and wish to look after us.
Therefore, do not be afraid to reverently ask God when you need His help. In Hebrews 4:16 it states that we can “approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Seek: It’s a life-changing decision to enter a relationship with God, but it doesn’t end there. In order to spiritually grow and mature, we need to keep on seeking God’s face. This means, spending time in His Word, allotting time every day to just sit quietly and be in His presence and pray and worship Him.
The more time you spend in seeking God, the more intimate you will grow in your relationship with Him, which also includes hearing His voice better and trusting His ways over your own. If you do all this, you will have such revelation of His purpose over your life and He will lead you on paths of blessings and growth that you never deemed possible!
Knock: When we knock on a door, we are intentionally arousing the attention of the person on the other side, in order that he or she may open it. Knocking implies an earnest request to seek communication and an expectation that new possibilities are “literally” opening up for us.
In the same way, when God brings new opportunities our way in 2021, let us be open to receive them. It may require coming out of our comfort zone, it may be a bit scary, or even demand that we learn new skills or change our priorities. However, our lives will be all the more richer for it.
In fact, let us be proactive and work together with God to make the dreams and goals He has put on our hearts a reality this year. Start that online shop you’ve been meaning to open, form the online women’s church group that God has put on your heart. Donate to that charity you’ve been meaning to send money to.
Your boldness in being open to new opportunities will not only benefit you but will additionally help make this world a better place for everyone. So, start knocking!
If you found our selection of 18 New Year Bible verses encouraging, we have created a digital set of these Scriptures for you to download and print. They are available from our Etsy Shop “Faith Love Life Designs”.
Use these Bible verse cards for Bible study purposes, for memorizing Scripture, or to supplement your Bible journaling. They also make great inserts for greeting cards, books, packages, as well as serving as bookmarks. You can also stick these Scripture cards on your fridge, mirrors, frames, etc. around your home for additional encouragement.
To shop our set of 18 New Year Bible verse cards, click here.
Our 18 New Year Bible verse cards are also available in travel size.
We hope you enjoyed reading our article and are feeling encouraged and hopeful for what God will be doing in your life in 2021.
If you would like to receive more motivating Christian content from us, feel free to sign up to our email list (on the right-hand sidebar) and be notified when we upload our latest posts. Additionally, we will be providing our subscribers with offers and free gifts, so that’s definitely something to look forward to!
From all of us at Jacob’s Ladder, we wish you a wonderful 2021 full of God’s peace, mercy, and love.
Stay safe and blessed,
Co-Founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog
To shop our selection of Christian printable art, scriptures, prayers, and more, visit our Etsy shop at faithlovelifedesigns.etsy.com.
christianity.com, “Does Jeremiah 29:11 Have Meaning for Us Today?”, Glory Dy.
charismamag.com, “The Isaiah 43:19 Solution for Your Hopeless Situation”, Joyce Meyer.
dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com, “What Does Psalm 118:24 Mean?”
bibleref.com, “2 Corinthians 5:17 Parallel Verses“
biblehub.com, “Philippians 3:13-14“
studylight.org, “Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary – Philippians 4:13”
spiritmeat.net, “The Power of Expectation – Proverbs 23:18”
bestirrednotshaken.com, “Studying Psalm 20:4 – Our Heart’s Desire and Accomplishing Our Plans“
gotquestions.org, “What does it mean to mount up with wings like eagles?”
sermonwriter.com, “Biblical Commentary Isaiah 65:17-25”, Richard Niell Donovan.
desiringgod.org, “Today’s Mercies for Today’s Troubles”, John Piper.
studylight.org, “Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary Job 8:7“
comparitech.com, “Cyberbullying facts and statistics for 2020”, Sam Cook.
dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com, “What Does Ezekiel 36:26 Mean?”
thefellowship.site, “God is For Us – Romans 8:31-34”
biblehub.com, “Psalm 40:3“
desiringgod.org, “Put on the New Person”, John Piper.
Written by Madeline Kalu
I guess it’s safe to say that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years we have had to face, not only as individuals but as a global entity.
What with dealing with daily infection updates, feeling anxiety about the future, and adapting to the COVID lifestyle in general, we can easily overlook the times that God has blessed us with His goodness, mercy, and even miracles during this year.
King David wrote in Psalm 23:5 (NRSV) that the Lord “prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” David knew that God’s goodness was always present, even amidst adversity and strife. By penning Psalm 23, David ensured a creative way of reminding himself of this important truth.
Therefore, as the year draws to a close, here are five creative ways that we, too, can remember God’s goodness in 2020.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
We don’t need to wait until the New Year arrives to start keeping a journal, especially one where we can record our gratitude as a response to God’s mercy and grace in our lives.
A gratitude journal is a great way of recording daily acts of God’s goodness, that can otherwise go unnoticed amidst the hectic and challenges of our current, pandemic lifestyle.
By reading regularly over our entries, we can gain revelation of just how much God showed us His love and provision this year in ways we didn’t perceive at the time.
2. Make a Miracle Jar
“He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”
My husband and l like to use a Miracle Jar to remember the times that God brought us extraordinary favor and provision – divine miracles – that we could never conceive as humanly possibly.
We take a large glass jar and write down all of God’s miracles that we experience on pieces of paper and store them in the jar. Then, as a family, we regularly read each slip of paper aloud and give thanks for each wonderous act of God’s goodness.
Having our Miracle Jar has made my husband and l aware of just how much God intervened on our behalf in 2020, when we didn’t see a way out of situations in our own strength.
You may ask what the difference is between a Gratitude Journal and a Miracle Jar?
We record daily acts of God’s goodness in our Gratitude journal e.g. restful sleep, the encouraging conversations with people we met that day, or that God left that last jar of pesto on the supermarket shelf for me when l really wanted pesto!
In our Miracle Jar, we have recorded acts of blessings such as financial provision, healing from sickness and pain, successful exam results, and more.
3. Keep a Prayer journal
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Keeping a prayer journal not only helps you keep track of your prayer lists and requests, it is also a wonderful way to remember God’s blessed responses to your petitions.
I personally like to dedicate a double page in my prayer journal for each spiritual request. On the left-hand side of the double page l write down the date, who l am praying for, and what their needs are. Sometimes, l even write a formal prayer that l can read out loud during my quiet time with the Lord.
When God provides an answer to my prayer, l record His response on the right-hand side of the double page, including the date when my prayer was answered.
Being able to see my written prayer petitions and how God answered them on the same page makes it easier for me to read over former entries and appreciate how God heard me in my time of need and answered my prayers.
It also encourages me that God will answer my remaining prayers, which motivates me to keep on praying until l see a change!
4. Keep God’s Word as a visual reminder
“..but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on His law they meditate day and night.
The most effective way to remember the blessings and favor that God promises us in His Word is to keep Scripture constantly before us as a visual reminder.
To help you achieve this, print the Bible verses that speak the most to you about God’s goodness, frame them, and hang them in your home as wall art.
Alternatively, you can cut out your favorite Bible verses and paste them in a Scripture scrapbook or write them out by hand.
Whatever method you choose, the most important thing is that we read our chosen Bible verses regularly to remind ourselves of God’s love and mercy towards us.
5. Be a Living Reminder For Others
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What better way to remember all the ways that God came through for you this year, than by showing the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to others?
If God has blessed you with mobility and health, then consider helping your elderly or sick neighbors by offering to do their shopping for them. Ring a friend, who is experiencing difficulty as a consequence of the COVID-19 and let them know you’re there for them. If you see a homeless person on the streets, why not buy them a cup of coffee or a sandwich?
You can even get your kids involved by encouraging them to write letters to the inhabitants of senior citizen homes, which will help them feel less isolated.
In such unprecedented times, there are many who desperately need to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Shine His light that lives within you and illuminate this dark and broken world!
Although 2020 is a year that most of us are happy to put behind us, let us not forget that this has also been a year where God has shown us some of His biggest blessings and has provided for us in ways that seemed otherwise impossible.
Like the Israelites, who in Joshua 4:1-7 set up 12 memorial stones from the River Jordan as a unique reminder of God’s provision and favor during their greatest period of adversity, so too, can we remember that God is always good, and that neither a virus, nor the associated adversity arising from it can keep us away from His love, nor can it prevent us from receiving His goodness and mercy!