I chose not to write the cliched ‘New Year’ post because I’ve been seeing them over and over again for the last several years, and they all say the same thing. (okay those of you who are smart alecs, I know, you only need to read one of my posts and you’ve pretty much got the gist of it all) I guess what I have observed over the years is that we all choose New Year’s Day to declare our resolve to change. And then, inevitably, we fail to some degree.
That’s why this is not a New Year’s post. Our battle is daily (whatever we may be battling) and we must start each day with that “New Year’s” resolve if we want to achieve our goals. Jesus said”If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” He knew the struggle of being constant and yet He offered the solution in one sentence. Work on it daily and keep your eyes focused on Him as He guides you in your daily work.
Now I could leave it at that because I believe that’s the most important part, but I have to point out our nature, which wants the exact opposite of working on anything daily. We want the overnight success, the miracle, the “permanent vacation”. We want to be able to say we have overcome and rest.
My question is, what do you think we will be doing when we finally reach that destination? We will be giving God praise constantly! That’s what will be in our hearts and all we will want to do every moment of every day. But I believe that is what we should be doing right now ahead of the”rest”. Hebrews 13:15 says Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Our actions of giving God praise now, even before the end of our struggle, gives the message of our complete confidence in Him, His love for us and His power to win any battle. The praise will translate into confidence for us because we will hear ourselves and all the positive things we are saying. You see, if we hear the positive, we will be more likely to believe the positive (just as when we hear the negative, we tend to be swayed towards the negative). The more positive we are, the more confident in Jesus we will be and finally, the more peace we will enjoy even while we are in the midst of the struggle.
But again, don’t forget, it’s not just a one time deal. We must do it on a daily basis. We can’t just make the New Year resolution to change our ways and not work on it little by little every day. And your resolution does not have to come on January 1. If you have to, you make your resolution every single day to make it work for you, but you have to work on it every day. And if you do it with praise, I suspect you will inch closer to your goal even faster than you thought.