SGC Women: A New Year
A new year is upon us.
Perhaps you don’t think much about a new year because life just goes on as it always has. Perhaps the extra eating, lack of routine, and money spent over the holidays has you longing for order. Perhaps you look at the new year as a chance to improve. Perhaps you look at a new year with an attitude of defeat as you consider all that is going wrong in your life or in the world. Perhaps this new year brings about some regret for all the ways you didn’t change last year or the failures that you see. Perhaps this new year brings about a anxiousness and fear of the unknown. Or perhaps you are an optimist and have high hopes and expectations for this year and have joy and confidence as you think about it. I relate with pretty much all of these thoughts. I expect that life will march on much the same as it has yet I do long for more order and improvement and, I am tempted to worry about what this year may hold. I am not much of an optimist but I know that I can face this new year with joy and confidence no matter what my own thoughts and fears may be.
Why? Because my life is held in the hands of someone who is faithful, steadfast, trustworthy, true, sovereign, good, wise, loving, righteous, holy, all powerful, all knowing, ever present, merciful and kind. No matter how I may feel, whether it be good, bad, or indifferent, the truth remains that all is well with me because of these facts about God. And it’s not just that God is all of these things that makes me face the year with confidence but because I can draw near to him. I am his child. I am a chosen and favored one, and he looks on me with particular love and grace. This is not something to take lightly or to be apathetic about.
God took a rebel, a glory seeker, and a idolator and made me his own. He punished Jesus for my rebellion and is changing me to desire his glory and to worship him alone. His gift of faith caused me to repent of my sins and put my trust in Jesus to make all things right between me and God. Without Jesus the truth about who God is would make me shudder, as it should. But with Jesus, God and all he is has become precious to me. A rock in times of trouble. Even when my faith feels shaky, the object of my faith is never shaky. Even when this world is shaky I can rest secure in my solid rock and know that any shaking going on is by his hand for his good purposes and for his glory. I can trust even while I don’t understand. Why? Because of all that God has revealed about himself in the Bible, all that the Bible says about what Jesus did for me, and all the ways the Holy Spirit daily helps me and brings to mind these truths.
If you are like me you’ve begun previous new years with grand plans to stick with a Bible reading plan, memorize scripture, spend a certain amount of time daily in devotions, read a long list of good theological books, fast one day a week, and so on. And those are just the spiritual goals! We could add exercising, eating right, getting organized, getting to bed earlier, waking up earlier, getting finances under control, etc... to the list of things most people desire to do in a new year. Have you considered how little control we have over many of these things? An injury, sickness, uncooperative child, unexpected pregnancy, loss of job, natural disaster, or any number of things could throw you and your new routines out the window. Our goals, as well intentioned as they may be, are often an attempt to control our lives. At least this is true in my life.
Do we just give up and not bother then? No! Let’s seek the Lord and ask him to show us specifically what he wants us to do today, and then tomorrow and then the next day and so on. Let’s treat this new year as we should treat everyday; with trust in God’s sovereign control over all things, joy in the salvation he has provided through Jesus, and reliance on the Holy Spirit to empower us for change. When we fail, and we will, let’s place our hope and trust in the one who will never fail and walk forward in his mercies that are new every morning.
By all means, get into God’s word, read good books, memorize scripture, and take advantage of the many ways we are blessed in this day and age to have great biblical resources at our fingertips. As you press on towards God make sure your hope is in Him and not in your efforts to change. Make your happiness and peace lie in the fact that no matter what this year holds all is well because of God’s great love to you through Jesus Christ.
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