It’s easy to be disparaging about new year’s resolutions. So much talk; so little traction; such a poor track record.
Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to new year’s resolutions. To be reflective as the calendar rolls around is to be human, and to resolve for the good expresses hope and self-awareness, fertile ground both for increased fruitfulness.
So … what are your goals for 2018? Do you have any resolutions, overt or covert? What would you like to see, and where would you like to be, as the sun sets on 2018. I’m not just talking about pie-in-the-sky dreaming, but steak-on-the-plate reality. What is in your mind for 2018 spiritually, socially and economically? Are there adjustments to be made in favour of your health? Dietary changes? Exercise? Sleep? Are there disciplines to be embraced? Is there study to be embarked on, or at the very least books to be read? Or written?
These are good questions all, and I write to encourage you to ask them. Challenge yourself as necessary. It’s 2018, and opportunity is pounding on the door. God is good! He has revealed His will for us in Christ Jesus, and it is to save and to bless. Embrace Him, and it, and make as many necessary adjustments as is practicable to make the most of the blessing on offer.
As was said in the days of our forefathers: “The year of our Lord, 2018.”
And why not?!
Faith is patient. The Bible makes this clear. It encourages us to “be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12).
Many of us have unfortunately been rather poorly taught regarding faith. We come to think that faith is for things, rather than in someone. Think that way and faith becomes some sort of magic ingredient in the prayer equation guaranteeing the desired outcome. He’s believing for healing, she for finances, or they for a bigger apartment.
I’m not suggesting for a moment that there is anything wrong with trusting God to meet our needs. It’s just that believing for things defaults to faith in faith, which is never a good idea. When this is the case, if things don’t quite work out as anticipated, we end up in all kinds of doubt and insecurity.
Adjust the paradigm and see how things shift for the better. Trust God for healing, finances and accommodation, but place your faith in Him. After all, He is Healer, Provider, Altogether Good, Saviour and Loving Father. Now rest. Be as patient as necessary. Everything will be fine. Your hope is in the Immutability of our God, and not in the strength of your faith.
“What it that in your hand?” What a profound question! When the Lord asked it of Moses, he was in the wilderness after comprehensively missing out on his destiny. Or so it seemed.
His answer was nothing unusual for a rural shepherd – a staff. But that staff went on to do some amazing things. Amongst other things, that staff went on to provoke Pharaoh and his conjurers, part the Red Sea, and bring water from a rock. Not too shabby for the old stick of an old stick.
Here’s the deal: The ordinary things in our hands are able to accomplish extraordinary things, not because we are extraordinary, but because in turn are in His hand. To then build on the thought: The burning bush was Heaven’s initiative, and Moses’ simple response in taking a closer look saw his life turned right-way-up. How much more, then, will our response to the death and resurrection of Jesus turn our lives right-way-up.
Truth is, none of us are empty handed in the ultimate sense. In fact, in Christ all things are ours! That is why understanding these things opens an endless fountain of gratitude, hope, opportunity and wisdom. We are those who can always find the way forward, for the death and resurrection of Jesus is our perennial burning bush, and God’s question to Moses is as pertinent to us as it ever was to him.
So, what is that in your hand?