Do you make New Year Resolutions? Statistically around 50% of Australians will this New Year. There will be the usual ones like losing weight, getting fit, getting out of debt and spending more time with family. As common place as they are, they are not bad resolutions.
I can’t say that I normally make New Year Resolutions, but this year I am thinking of making some.
Inside every human being there seems to be a need for progress.
We have a yearning to improve and progress. Irrespective of how you might define success or significance, we all have a strange internal compulsion for progress. We want to improve or move forward in some way. Perhaps you have read an article or book on success? Or maybe you’ve read a book on significance?
When we talk about success or significance it seems to permeate into the deepest part of the human spirit. It is unique to us. It’s not like gazelles or chimpanzees are asking if there is more to life. Or giraffes are saying that I don’t feel like I’m reaching my full potential in life. These are human questions.
In fact, the moment you stop believing that tomorrow can be a better day than today, then you move to despair and hopelessness. We are inspired by the hope that we have something to strive for and live for. We hope that we can make a difference, improve or grow in some way.
When Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica he discovered that with God, there is an ‘endurance inspired by hope’. Endurance is not a passive or quiet resignation to the difficulties of life, but it is an active constancy in the face of difficulty. It is more than an optimism that thinks everything will be okay. It is an assurance based on the belief that Christ will return one day, and that no matter what life throws at us now, there is a sovereign God who will deal with the evil in this world that affects us all, and who promises us an eternity with him.
You see, hope gives us the power to look beyond circumstances that otherwise appear hopeless. Hope keeps hostages alive when they have no rational proof that anyone cares about their plight, it entices farmers to plant seeds in spring after years of drought, and it keeps us Blues fans watching the State of Origin year after year.
For many it seems 2013 has been a hard year, maybe you need to be reminded that tomorrow can be better than today, and next year better than the one which preceded it. Don’t lose hope. Pursue a hope which is not dependant on just want you can control, but resolve to know Jesus more, and to surrender more and more to him in 2014. That is a worthwhile resolution for 2014.