Many people make New Years resolutions. We wait until midnight on December 31 and then rhyme off a number of ways that we will change in the new year. Stop smoking, eat less, not work so much, even read the Bible every day are just a few of the promises made.
“resolution is a noun that means a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner. The noun resolution has a few related meanings having to do with being firmly determined about something. If you lack determination, you’ll never fulfill your New Year’s resolutions.”
So the dictionary says that it’s keeping the determination that makes the difference as to whether we fail or succeed.
Definition of determination-
“a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult. : the act of finding out or calculating something.”
We all start off with a lot of determination. “I’m really going to stay on my diet this time. I’m determined to make this the year”. But then a week or two later we give up “oh I’m so sick of rabbit food! It’s just not worth the effort. I’ll try again another time. I’ll be careful as to what I eat from now on (said while eating a cookie)”. These are the type of words that we all use at times. Notice how many “I’s” (I, I’m, I’ll) are in this paragraph.
So it seems that we think it’s all about us, to succeed. We need to be strong and determined. On top of that apparently we need willpower to succeed.
Definition of will-power-
“Willpower is defined as discipline and self-restraint.” Did you notice the word self-restraint?
Another source said –
“willpower (self-restraint or self-control, as the Bible refers to it) is crucial for success in life”.
So, for our entire lives, we are told that we need to exhibit our self-control, self-restraint, willpower and determination to succeed.
Hmmm…Let’s see what the Bible has to say…
2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.”
Proverbs 25:28 “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”
Godly self-control is like a muscle that will waste away if it is not developed. When we decide to forgive someone who has wronged us, we are exercising spiritual power over our will. When we do this again and again, repeating the pattern, it becomes more natural for us, and even second nature.
Matthew 18:22 “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
It’s no wonder why Jesus Christ said we must forgive our brother “seventy times seven” He wants us to develop the habit of forgiving others. He wants our self-control “muscle” to be well exercised!
Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”
Paul described the spiritual journey as a race to be run with endurance. He emphasized that Christians do this by using God’s Spirit, which brings many benefits, including self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.
So do we just leave it up to the Lord to give us more self-control and the likes? No! Look at the gifts (above) he has already given us! Are we using them properly? We are to turn to The Lord and ask for his help in all areas of our lives. With his help and by continued practice on our part, we will have a much better success rate.
Will our lives be perfect? No! Even as Christians, we will still have difficult times, but the good news is, God will be there with us, by leading, guiding and helping us to carry that burden. The secret is to keep our strength in Christ. Lean on him. The best way to do that is to have Jesus in our lives.
If he isn’t, then firstly accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you don’t know how to do that read my post above on salvation.
The acceptance of Jesus Christ makes a new person. We are no longer trying to make life work for us. We are partners with God and as such, he will help us make better choices.
A new year is coming soon and many will make resolutions. Don’t do it alone, include the Lord in this year’s resolution.
Christians – read your Bible every day this year, if only for a few minutes. (Leave it beside your TV and read it during the commercials if you must) but read it. As we commit to the Lord, He will commit to us.
Non-Christians – Please read the post marked “salvation” above if you haven’t already done so. If you are not ready to make that commitment yet, at least get to know him a little better.
It is God’s desire that no one is lost. Start today to learn about Him through the Bible and or a Church. If that seems too much for you right now, at least start to make some effort. Instead of sitting on YouTube go to GodTube instead. There are videos, songs, comedians, cute animals. GodTube is a wonderful way to get your heart turning toward Jesus.
So to sum it up, get closer to God. The Bible has words that can fill our souls with hope and lead us to peace.
The following scriptures fit in with the start of a new year.
HOPE and PEACE
 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
2 Corinthians 5:
 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
FORGETTING THE PAST
 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
WAIT ON THE LORD
 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
GODS TIMING IS PERFECT
 He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
EACH NEW DAY IS SPECIAL
 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
Happy New Year everyone. May God’s blessings rest upon you and your loved ones.