Happy new year everyone! What a transition it is to enter the month of January. We made it to the next destination, another year, and now together we ask ourselves, “What are we going to do next?” Whenever I enter a new chapter of my life, a popular old saying comes to mind. The saying is, “That was then, and this is now?” The unavoidable truth humanity is confronted with daily is that it is impossible to turn back time. If it is impossible to turn back time, what ways can we redeem it or in other words make the most of the time that has passed? Another relatable saying goes like this, “Out with the old and in with the new.” What then does this all have to do with the new year? The new year is the indication of a new chapter of life that requires the act of leaving something behind and taking hold of what is to come. Humanity is incapable of returning to the past, but they can create a resolution that will provide them the tools they need to be prepared, be successful, and make the most of their time in the new year.
New Year’s Resolution
We certainly cannot enter the new year in fear, but rather in faith. Just as God says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” How can an individual walk into this fresh year with confidence, determination, and assurance? The answer to that is, creating a resolution that requires one to reorient themselves, choose rest, resolve, and restore past and current conflict, as well as repeat essential habits for growth.
1. Reorient Yourself:
One truth that must be treasured is the path to growth and living a satisfying life has everything to do with aligning oneself to God’s word and precepts. In Proverbs 4, the message relayed to God’s people reminds us how critical it is to listen, understand, and obey the instruction and commands God has for our life. Therefore, when reorienting yourself this new year, lay aside and refuse any things of this world that will distract you from flourishing.
• (Prov. 4:1-2, 25-27, Col. 3:2, 1 Peter 1:13-16, Rom. 12:1-2, & Phil. 4:8)
• Ways one can go about reorienting yourself involve studying and applying scripture to your life. The other way is recognizing what behaviors and thought patterns need to be addressed. Start this new year out with a humble and willing spirit that is teachable and filled with faith (Heb. 11:6).
2. Choose Rest:
Many find rest to be challenging. The world has emphasized success coming in the form of a relentless performance that requires one to always be on the go. The truth is to be successful your life must have the correct balance. God knows this. That is why not only did God himself model this to us, but He also commanded his people to rest as well. When we allow God’s plan to manifest in and through our lives, we are left in a state of joy, peace, hope, serenity, and contentment.
• (Heb. 4:9-11, Gen. 2:2-3, Psalm 34:18, Phil. 4:19, Jer. 29:11, & Matt. 11:28-30)
• How can we rest? We can rest when we release and relinquish everything that we are and have to God. Rest involves relying on God wholeheartedly.
3. Resolve & Restore:
To bring restoration to one’s life requires an individual to have closure and resolve difficult moments that occurred in the past. When we are being led by God, we grow in wisdom and find healing in areas of our lives we would never have expected.
• (Jer. 17:14, Matt. 3:8, 1 Peter 5:10, & 1 John 5:4)
• Resolution and restoration require us to reflect and surrender to what God desires us to. This can come in the form of repentance, restoration, or closure from broken relationships and healing from past heartache.
4. Recognize, Apply & Repeat:
God desires that we practically apply Godly habits that will help us grow and flourish.
• (1 Tim. 4:8, Eph. 5:1, 2 Tim. 1:7, Col. 3:23-24, Gal. 6:9)
• Practicing Godly habits is the only way you will thrive this year. Habits such as studying God’s word, prayer, fasting, worship, and fellowship. Godly practices also include giving, evangelism, utilizing your spiritual gifts, and the Sabbath.