Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, how are you doing with them? Many of us get excited about the New Year. It presents new opportunities. We may consider the New Year a blank slate upon which we can write a new story, form a new identity, or live in a new era. While it’s fun to dream about what might be in the future, let’s take a moment to evaluate why we long for better things. I believe God has placed within our hearts a desire for heaven, an appreciation for the ways sin has broken this world. We dream of a world without sin, suffering, and death. We long to be free of feelings of guilt and shame. We want to be better so we can do better and feel better about ourselves.
God offers us something better than New Year’s resolutions. Consider Lamentations 3:22-24 “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. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
God does not wait until the New Year to show us His great mercy. He cleans our slates every morning. And He does not wait for us to resolve to be or do better. He shows us His great love and compassion every day, giving us grace instead of justice. We deserve to be consumed, but we don’t have to carry shame, guilt or fear, for we know that God’s compassions for us never fail. And in Christ, we are made clean. We’re not guilty and we do not have to be ashamed because Christ has taken our guilt and shame away. God forgives us daily. So how should we respond? Perhaps instead of focusing on New Year’s resolutions, we should daily resolve to lay down our guilt and shame at the cross, to receive the mercies of God which are new every morning, and to cling to Jesus, our portion and inheritance. We don’t have to resolve to be better, we simply have to wait on Him to renew us day by day.
May God richly bless you with a deeper knowledge of His love for you!