• A Hopeful New Year

    The start of a new year means the opportunity to create a list of resolutions we hope to keep for the next 12 months. Wouldn't it be great if this was the year that we could finally stick to our workout regimen, eat healthier, commit to daily devotional time, meet a savings goal, and spend more quality time with family and friends? Of course, this all sounds great, but a few months (sometimes weeks) in when the novelty of the New Year wears off, many of us are left with a feeling of disappointment when our ambitions have gone by the wayside.

    For me, this pattern has continued each year leaving me to wonder why I even bother to make resolutions. Am I setting myself up for failure…again? I thought about this as I started yet another lofty 2018 resolution list this week and realized that maybe it's not really about successfully checking all the boxes and achieving all the goals. What if the purpose of setting resolutions is really about reflecting on the highs and lows of the last 12 months and stepping into a New Year with head held high and a heart full of hope?

    Hope is very important once we realize that we are not in complete control of the outcome. Despite our best-laid plans, sometimes life has a way of surprising us and it can be much easier for us to grasp on to hope when we can let go of the need to control our situations. The Bible explains in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” As Believers, our faith is tied to our ability to have hope!

    What better way to practice building our faith than determine the big and small ways that we hope to see change and progress in the future? If we can look at our list of New Year’s resolutions as steps of faith instead, we can continue to train ourselves to move beyond doubt, fear and disappointment and embrace the hope we gain from Scripture, such as Mark 9:23 which declares, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

    As we wrapped up the final week of 2017, what were you having difficulty hoping for in the New Year? Take some quiet time to reflect on what may be keeping you from being hopeful. Today, I pray that God will restore your heart with joy, peace and perseverance for all He has in store for you in 2018.

    Have a hopeful New Year!