The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
client login


      About this time last year, I began my “From Daniel’s Den” article with these words:

      What a year 2020 has been! To borrow from President Roosevelt, 2020 is a year that “will live in infamy!” A common theme over the past several months has been “Enough already” as many people want to erase the past twelve months and embrace a new year. Speaking in golfing terms, a friend of mine declared “I want a mulligan for 2020.” A humorous comment posted on social media as Daylight Savings time was approaching several weeks ago offered, “I’m not setting my clock back because who wants to spend another hour in 2020?” 

      The headline to a recent news article asserted “2021 was the year when things were supposed to get back to normal.” From my observation, normalcy (despite the many and varied definitions of “normal” that might be offered) was not achieved during the past year. With 2021 soon to be in the rearview mirror, some folks probably feel like this past year has been a near repeat of 2020 in many ways. In fact, a minister friend told me a couple of days ago “I haven’t set the bar very high for 2022 in light of how crummy 2021 has been.”
      From my perspective, I would be inclined to agree inasmuch as my own family has experienced numerous challenges over the past twelve months including multiple surgeries and hospitalizations, lengthy stints in rehab, several cases of COVID-19, loss of loved ones and the ensuing adjustments, year-long (and continual) remote employment due to permanent pandemic-related office closure, and difficult decisions regarding how best to navigate next steps for family members and friends. On Christmas Day another hospital stay began courtesy of a tumble taken by a relative during a family visit. My wife remarked, “This family has spent too much time at Baptist hospital this year.”     
      Newsflash…No one is exempt from the ups-and-downs of life! As you and I reflect on the many and varied “trials and tribulations” that have come our way during 2021, all of us must remember to “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2). 

      Three words that stand out in this verse as if underlined and blinking with neon light are “joy,” “faith,” and “perseverance.” Much space could be employed to unpack the biblical significance of these three words as pertaining to the Christian life. However, with 2021 coming to a close and a new year of opportunity and challenge approaching, please allow a few verses to encourage you to persevere in the midst of trials and tribulations while striving for and experiencing joyful and faith-filled living in 2022.

  • “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24); 
  • Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4); 
  • “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7); 
  • “The righteous shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11); 
  • “… persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised…for my righteous one will live by faith” (Hebrews 10:36, 38); 
  • “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10); 
  • Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1); 
  • Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope” (Romans 5:1-4). 
  • “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered” (James 5:11); 
  • “…let us run with perseverance/endurance the race marked out before us. Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:1-2). 
Years ago, Andrae Crouch wrote the popular Christian song “Through It All.” Whatever challenges you may have experienced in 2021 and whatever challenges you may experience in 2022, you can be assured that faith in Jesus Christ produces joy and the capacity to persevere through it all.

I’ve had many tears and sorrows, I’ve had questions for tomorrow,

there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.

But in every situation, God gave me blessed consolation,

that my trials come to only make me strong.


Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.

Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.


I’ve been to lots of places, I’ve seen a lot of faces,

there’s been times I felt so all alone.

But in my lonely hours, yes, those precious lonely hours,

Jesus lets me know that I was His own.


Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.

Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.


I thank God for the mountains, and I thank Him for the valleys,

I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.

For if I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know God could solve them,

I’d never know what faith in God could do.



Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the challenges I’ve encountered during this past year. While none were expected and certainly not invited, each situation strengthened my faith walk with you. I pray that the manner in which I responded to every challenge and setback served as an encouragement to others in the midst of their own disappointments, upsets, and uncertainties that were encountered. I pray that I will walk closer to you in 2022 than I did in 2021. I pray that the various trials that may beset me in the coming year will be pure joy and a means through which my faith is deepened as I trust you to help me persevere through it all. Amen.