As 2015 draws to a close many of us can probably look back at a whirlwind of a year that seemed to begin only yesterday. As I look back over the past year the faithfulness and provisions of God blow me away. We truly are a blest people regardless of circumstances or temporary bad situations.
What has God brought you through? How has He displayed His faithfulness in your life? What has He taught you?
As we think on these things it is impossible to not be thankful for the love of such a perfect Father, and to begin to look to what this New Year might mean or bring for us. Each and every year people all over the world make resolutions going into a new year… some make it longer than others.
There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing magical or extraordinary occurs at midnight on December 31, but nonetheless, we feel as if another page has been turned or another season has come upon us and this can be a good thing.
A New Year gives us a chance to access, evaluate, and set goals for our upcoming walk in life. As we enter into this New Year as Believers I hope that our resolutions center around our walk with Christ… below I will openly think about some of the things we should strive to do!
Let’s resolve ourselves to:
- To celebrate the birth of Jesus daily.
As we enter into this New Year the Christmas season is fresh on our minds. What a wonderful season of remembrance and celebrating the birth of our Savior! But… too often we limit the celebration of our Savior’s birth and coming only to the Christmas holiday when in fact it should be a daily celebration that we walk and live in!
Our God, perfect and holy, sent His son to pay the penalty of death for sin on our behalf! What else is worth celebrating more than that?
Jesus came into the world to redeem us because He wants to have close fellowship with us. My favorite name of God is Emmanuel, which means, “God with us.” I love the picture that this paints in my mind. What other religion can say that they serve a God who comes, or came, to His people to save them? None that I can think of… every other religion seeks to serve a God tat they must approach or earn their way to commune with. But our God wants to be with us, intimately involved in every aspect of our lives.
That is worth celebrating each and every day.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with remembering the birth of Christ on Christmas but we shouldn’t limit ourselves to only thinking and celebrating His birth on that specific day. In reality, Scripture doesn’t provide a specific date of Christ’s birth and I believe that is deliberate for our understanding that the date itself is meaningless and not worth limiting our celebrations to… the simple fact that Jesus was born is to be part of the Christian’s thinking every single day of the year.
This year let’s make it a priority to think on and celebrate the coming of a Savior on our behalf each and every day.
- To live like David.
Many of us are familiar with David as the young man who struck down Goliath with just a sling and a stone. But David also was the young man who had to live many years of his life on the run from King Saul who, out of jealousy of his appointed successor, put a price on his head. In many of David’s writings we can see that the theme of his life was perseverance and trust in God in the midst of unrelenting trial and obstacles.
In fact, many of David’s writings are seen today in the book of Psalm. David didn’t just suffer and persevere in silence! He trusted and sang about his faith in the Lord to be his deliver, shelter, refuge, and hiding place.
Isn’t it a wonderful goal and resolution to sing out about our faith joyfully in the midst of good times and bad?
We can see David’s faith displayed in Psalm 32:3-7. It says,
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’ — and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
We can also see it in Psalm 30:11,
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness
David definitely wasn’t a perfect leader or a perfect man, but his faith is something to be admired. King David passionately pursued the Lord and His holiness with no care as to what others might think or say. David truly worshipped with abandon! Most of us know the story found in 2 Samuel where the men are bringing the ark into the city and David joyously danced in the streets… even to the point that his wife was displeased with him!
2 Samuel 6:14 says,
And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.
Do we worship freely in front of others or are we afraid of what they may think or say?
Psalm 149:3 provides the avenue and instruction… we just need to lay down our pride and live with a reckless abandon in obedience to what The Spirit guides us to do. Psalm 149:3 says,
Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
Psalm 150:1-6 says,
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
If you could be whatever you desired and have anything you wanted, what would that look like to you? Where would Jesus fit into your priorities and lifestyle? Would you be more likely to do things your way or His?
This year we as believers should challenge ourselves to seek the Lord in the way we live. We should long to have the desires of David… the desire displayed in Psalms 27:4,
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
David possessed everything he could want when he was King, but yet as we read through his writings we see where his priorities truly were. David was a man after God’s own heart and we should strive to live with his trust and abandon Him as we follow Jesus daily.
Psalm 146:2 says,
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
- To have the faith of Job.
In this past year many of us have endured things we wouldn’t have wished on anyone… even our worst enemies! Some of us have experienced a loss of a job, a relationship, or even a loved one. Some of us may be struggling mentally, emotionally, physically, and/or spiritually. As Christians who hold fast to the Word of God, and believe what it says, we know that these events aren’t meaningless and we aren’t suffering for no reason. It is hard to not ask “why” these things happen… but instead I think we should think of this one truth:
Our suffering only reminds us of the reprobate nature of this life. Everything around us is ultimately dying.
No matter how bad we think our situation is we should never think that God has left us or does not care. God works in mysterious ways and all things work according to His ultimate will and purposes.
What is God showing us through our trials? What is He teaching us in our suffering?
In this upcoming year I hope to have the faith of Job, more specifically I hope to remain steadfast in times of trial and to hold on to Jesus at all cost.
When Job had lost it all he still didn’t fail to recognize God’s faithfulness. Job 1:20-21 says,
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
This year I wish to have the faith of Job throughout suffering and trial and to take the advice of King David as found in Psalm 27:14,
Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!
I am more than excited to enter fresh into a new year pursuing Jesus. What are your New Years resolutions?s