Daily Devotional

Lamentations 3:22-23

The Steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Studies show that between 50-60% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. 25% of those who make resolutions drop them before even making it a week. Another 11% drop off before making it a month. After 6 moths less than half (46%) of people who make resolutions are still keeping them. By the end of the year a whopping 8% of people who have made a resolution have actually kept it.

I think New Year’s Resolutions are pretty harmless in and of themselves. Setting unrealistic goals is not a good idea by any means, but if a New Year’s Resolution helps someone to take some positive action, then great! What really is harmful is if we treat our faith in Jesus like a New Year’s Resolution. We should all want to grow in our faith, but a week, a month, or even 6 months later, we shouldn’t give up and think “better luck next year.” We will fall short at times, but we don’t have to wait till the next New Year, we can “resolve” to continue forward in our faith right away.

I was once traveling from Oregon to California in the middle of a snowstorm. After crossing the border, I pulled into a gas station to get some gas and hopefully wait out the storm. I could tell no one had been there for a while as a fresh blanket of snow covered everything in sight. I got out of the car and clumsily tried to make my way from the gas pump to the store.

After slowly (and comically I'm sure) traveling about half the distance, I looked back towards my car to see what number pump I was at. Behind me I could see the trail my steps had made through the snow. I could see where I slipped, where I fell, and where I tried to get back up only to fall again. I could have stopped right there and given up after seeing how much I had messed up on my journey. Instead, I turned back around and in front of me I saw nothing but clean, untouched snow. I knew as I walked on I would continue to imperfectly move forward, but I needed to keep moving forward none-the-less.

Likewise, you could look at your spiritual path behind you and see your mistakes; your slips, falls, and crawls. Or you could keep your eyes on the road ahead of you and see fresh new possibilities.

I honestly think we are far more concerned with our past than God is. When we look at biblical characters like Moses, David, Peter, and Paul we see that their mistakes weren’t the end of their stories. God didn’t look at them for what they lacked, He looked at them for what HE could do through them. Yes, there are consequences for our mistakes, but there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). We need to place our trust in Jesus, not in our own performances.

As we head into this New Year my advice is to look to forward, not back. Don’t treat your faith like a resolution and give up, perhaps to try again next year. Remember that God’s mercies are new not just once a year, but constantly. Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Great is HIS faithfulness!
"English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers."