Here we go. Another New Year underway. We have our resolution(s) and at least for the moment, we are motivated to tackle them. We are determined to make this year better than last year. To do the things we wish we would’ve done but never got around to. To quit doing things we meant to quit but for some reason we never did. To be healthier. More successful. More giving and loving. It’s exciting to have a fresh start!
But where will we be in a week or a few months? What will happen to our resolve if we realize we blew it on one or all of our goals for the new year? Will we decide to just give up and try again next year? After all, the new year has come and gone and we’re right back where we ended the last year. Maybe this isn’t our year after all. If that’s the approach we take, then Satan will be thrilled. He will have at least one more year to hammer away at us in whatever area of weakness we determined to give up on.
I’m going to try a new approach. I’m going to change my “New Year’s Resolution” to a “New Day’s Resolution”. I am going to look at every day as the first day of the rest of my life and as a fresh start on getting things right. I’m going to acknowledge where I messed up yesterday, ask God for forgiveness and then ask him to fill me with his Holy Spirit for today. I’m going to resolve for today to do things better. I’m going to set my eyes on Jesus (Hebrew 12:2) and leave the rest behind (Philippians 3:13). I can’t go back and change anything anyways, so there is no sense in dwelling on it. If there are lessons to be learned from my mistakes, I’ll take them to heart and apply them to the future. When the devil tries to weigh me down by convincing me to carry my past mistakes around with me, I will remind him what the Bible says:
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:21-23
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
The Bible often compares the Christian life to a race. I think it would be safe to say we’re dealing with a marathon and not a sprint. And not that I’ve ever run one, but from what I understand – how you finish is more important than how you start. If you trip and fall, you get back up and pick up the pace. Don’t ever let the devil convince you to just give up. Jesus died so that your shortcomings would not define you. When you acknowledge Jesus as your Savior, God covers your sins with Christ’s righteousness. It’s as if he gives you new legs to run the race with. Don’t ever miss the fact that it is Jesus Christ within you that gives you the grace and power you need to finish strong.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. -Colossians 1:29
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 1 Corinthians 12:9
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:4