As we enter into the new year, most of us consider what new resolutions we are going to aspire to attain within the coming weeks, months and, for those of us who are more optimistically inclined, the whole year. We get out our calendars and notebooks and plan how we are going to enforce this noble undertaking. We follow our goals with determination during the first week of the new year. Unfortunately, these resolutions are often short lived, and within a few weeks we have either forgotten or decided that we will delay our concerted efforts. We then convince ourselves that we will begin again with renewed fervor after the next holiday or major event.
While new resolutions are good to aspire towards and we should always be pushing ourselves to improve and become more disciplined, as believers we tend to forget that the most important area we could ever be resolute in is our faith. During the craziness of holiday seasons or just life in general, our time with the Lord often gets pushed to the wayside. We tend to rely on our own strength to get us through rather than relying on Him. Without dedicated discipline in one’s walk with the Lord, our relationship with God can easily become distant and cold.
Reflecting on this past year, we can all admit what a challenge it has been. We have witnessed the emergence of an era which has brought much pain and suffering. The spike in violence and hatred between people has shown how we have sadly forgotten the two most important commandments Christ gave us: to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If there was ever a time to be firm in our resolution to remain fixed on Him and not the world, it is now. There are so many voices, so many opinions, so many opinions being shoved in our faces every single day. How much wisdom and peace we could find if we would just be intent on hearing His voice.
This new year we are entering into is not going to be easy. In fact, it arguably could be one of the most challenging seasons we will experience individually, as a church and as a nation. Regardless of what events and messages we encounter, our first and only response should be to rely on the Word of God. There will be many situations in this coming year in which we will be tempted to compromise the foundation of our faith. There will most likely be consequences for not going through with certain agendas. However, true faith in Christ is never subject to seasons of men (Steve Green). Being grounded in what we believe and why we believe will enable us to stand against the onslaught of enticements that we will face. We must firmly resolve that we will remain resolute in our faith despite the consequences. Whatever this year may bring, we can rest confidently in His promises and continue to be a witness for His Name.