How Effective is Your Resolution?

New year, new life. As 2019 ends and the new year of 2020 approaches, it is natural for most people to make “new year resolutions”. Resolutions, resolutions. A decision to change a certain something in ourselves as if we are the people in charge of our own lives.

As Christians, we know that the only way we can have real and effective change is through the help of the Holy Spirit. A real and renewed heart and spirit anchored in God’s grace. 

“26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) We can strive to gain, strive to change something within ourselves, but all will be vain if in the end, in the pursuit of going after what we want, we lose our own soul.

We are confident in knowing that God knows what is best for us and has definite plans for our good, whether we may swerve our plans to be good or bad to worse. 

Romans 8:28  “ And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.”

The good news is that for “those who are called according to his purpose”, even the situations where we do not want to look back at are tools in God’s perfect plan for His will and glory. That being said, we can trust God because He is constant and immovable. He promised to be with us and never leave us.

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

I used to have the mistake of advising people practical ways on self-help or self-improvement, but the fact of the matter is that I KNOW that apart from God’s grace and wisdom imparted through His Word, I cannot and would not be able to be any better. If not better, maybe even worse. My sinful flesh will always crave sin and the fleeting pleasures of this world. 
 

Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Since we can now approach God through Jesus Christ, we can trust that God’s ways are always higher than ours. His thoughts cannot be perceived by mere human minds. When we are left scratching our heads and frustrated, we can always pray for wisdom and God will teach us what to do.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

If anything, the right prayer and resolution is to draw nearer to God and ask in every single second how to discern His good and perfect will for us and be ready to submit and surrender— even if His plans are not what we have originally planned for ourselves.

We cannot base our Christianity on ourselves and say that we are “not Christian enough”, or even not good enough. I know that God is the sole perfecter of our faith and He will finish the work that He has started in us. It was never meant to be a competition of who is a better Christian, but if we must boast, we can only boast in our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

He will bring it to completion not because we deserve it, but because He cannot desert Himself. He cannot be unfaithful, because that would contradict His divinity. He will always be faithful even though we are unfaithful, because it will never be up to us. Nothing we can say or do will make Him change His mind. (Hebrews 13:18)

So, rejoice for the New Year! The Lord is not done with you yet. He will finish what He started. He will finish and harvest what He has planted. All for His glory, and for our joy. The joy that was set for us, the only satisfaction that we have in Him.

Psalm 18:2″The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

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Rizia B. Paragas is the Publications Team Leader of True Love Waits Philippines. She is a mental health advocate that loves singing, reading and writing. Her ideal rest day is appreciating God’s masterpiece through hiking and swimming on deep ocean waters.