A Resolution To Keep

Happy New Year everyone!  There’s a freshness about every new year.  It’s a time when we reflect upon what has taken place in our lives the past year.  Equally, we  look ahead with hope in what the coming year might bring.

Traditionally, each new year is a time when people set for themselves new goals to achieve.  There are the usual resolutions like losing weight, exercising more, saving money, moving, or getting a new job.  Some people make resolutions to be more patient or they resolve to be kinder to everyone in general. Like most people, I have made resolutions in the past.  I always meant to keep them; the trouble is, after a few weeks into the new year, I couldn’t even remember what the goals were that I had set.

In recent years, I came upon something that encouraged me.  It was a goal to set, not just for the new year, but for each day.  It’s been a goal that has been a joy to remember.  It’s been helpful and comforting to me.  It’s this:  Matthew 1:23.  An angel was speaking to Joseph before Jesus was born.  The angel said about Mary, “She will give birth to a Son, and  will call Him Immanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.'”   My resolution became a daily goal to remind myself that whatever the day would hold, easy or hard to bear, I would get through it because of Immanuel — God is with us.  God is with you.  God is with me.

Maybe you would like to start this New Year with the same resolution, to remember everyday that — God is with you.  When you are joyful, God shares in your happiness.  When you are hurting, God gives you His comfort.  When you are feeling like all hope is gone, don’t forget — God is with you.  When God Almighty is with you, hope is always there.  Perhaps He will lead you in a new direction and you’re scared at what will unfold. Perhaps there are health issues to deal with.  Press on  — God is with you.  What today brings, whatever you think tomorrow may hold, fear not — God is with you.

Just think, from the time of Jesus’ birth, God the Father had it in His plan to send  His only Son into the world to offer salvation to everyone who wanted it; to everyone who would ask His forgiveness of sin.  He chose to make it possible that by the Holy Spirit living inside every son and daughter of God, no one would ever be alone — God would be with them.

Father in heaven, may we never forget the name Immanuel.  Throughout this new year, may we remember each day — God is with us.

Another New Year’s Resolution

Have you made a resolution for the coming new year?  What could it be?  Lose weight?  Exercise more?  Eat more healthy?  Quit biting your fingernails?  Be kinder to your neighbor?  The list could go on.

Every new year there are countless people who make a declaration of some resolution that they are going to keep.  Every new year those same countless people will most likely break their resolutions within the first week.  Some will forget what the resolution was in the first place.  Are you one of those people?  You mean well; you want to make a good resolution that will put you on a path to becoming a better person, but somehow success alludes you.  You tell yourself there’s always next year.

There’s good news for the Christian where resolutions are concerned.  There is a goal to aim for that doesn’t have to be forgotten until next year.  There’s a target in our sites that is a joy to hope for everyday, not just once a year.  It’s found in Proverbs 3:5-6:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.”

Choosing to trust God and choosing to seek Him is a high goal to set for ourselves every morning.  Will we make mistakes?  Oh yes.  Will we greedily choose our own way on occasion?  Again, yes.  So, if we know our attempts will not prove successful on every day of our attempts, then why even try?

The joy is in the pursuit.  The joy is in knowing that our mistakes are forgiven when we ask our Father to forgive.  The joy is in knowing that our Father has a perfect plan for each of us and that He never tires of our attempts to stay on the path of His design.  The joy is in knowing that as we continue to try, we will continue to grow stronger.  As the days pass by, we will discover that we’re walking a bit farther each day without falling.  As the days pass by, we discover that our understanding of God and His ways and of his love for us, deepens.

Choosing to trust and choosing to seek Him is a daily resolution that never grows old.  It is a goal that always brings joy and peace in the midst of any of life’s storms.  Trusting and seeking God is a resolution that will never fail us.