A new year makes all good things seem possible! There is something about the clock striking midnight on the last day of the year that ushers in a new beginning, and with that the hope for better days ahead. And this is why we make resolutions and set goals when a new year dawns. We do them in the hope that they will guide us towards a greater and happier year.
Indeed, for the longest time ever, I faithfully made new year resolutions. The truth is they were inevitably the same list of stuff every year! So the last few years, exasperated by the recycled list, I moved away from resolutions to new year “hope”. Instead of resolving to do better in various areas and commitments, I state what I hope the year would bring as it unfolds.
Then I pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and illumination. I think this way I am better able to partner with God to do what he has in store for me. Indeed stating our hope and entrusting them to God will help us to be more consciously dependent on him. The Bible is full of promises for those who hope in the Lord.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.Psalm 146:5, NIV
I wonder what you hope for in the new year. Whatever your list might be, remember to start with God himself. My first hope for this year is to be refreshed in my faith in God. What does that mean? I am unsure myself except that in my heart there is a desire for fresh faith like that of a child, an eager anticipation of what God could do when I choose to believe and obey.
I have given up on trying to figure out everything. I have ceased trying to compel positive changes or strive for a happier life. Instead of enforcing a plan on the Holy Spirit, I believe surrendering to his tide and allowing to be led, will take me to where he wants me to be. So while hoping for a fresh faith that will unveil God’s many miraculous workings this year, I do not know exactly what these workings will be or where I might be at the end of the year.
Like Abraham leaving Ur of the Chaldean, Moses Egypt, and Peter his nets, following Jesus wholeheartedly is an adventure to be discovered. The promises of God as they unfold are to be savoured and the joy of his fellowship to be cherished. Dictating to God too many desires, setting up too many goals, and pursuing endless accomplishments not only lead to frustrations but stifle the Holy Spirit in our lives. If the Spirit of God is to have his way in our lives, we need to clear the clutter of man-made good ideas. Indeed, the world is full of good ideas of how we should live and what we need to accomplish, but following these only leave us unsatisfied year in and out.
Too much resolving makes the heart weary!
A true new beginning is not really about the turning of a calendar page. That turning allows us an impetus to start afresh. Yet, it is really God himself who could move us forward to better and greater things. And for that to unfold, we need to renew our faith. Perhaps you are disappointed at your lack of faith in the past year. Perhaps your prayers were unanswered, you did not receive the promises of God or experience the favour of God. But that was last year. A new year has dawned and it is the kairos time to renew your faith.
Trust that the eyes of the Lord your God are continually upon you from the beginning of the year to its end. As you follow God wholeheartedly, may you be abundantly satisfied this year!