Courage For the New Year

Throughout the Scripture Jesus continually reminds his disciples to be courageous in approaching whatever they may face in life. Was he attempting to pump up the troops to help them accomplish their goals in life or was there something deeper he was conveying?

I think there was a deeper, life changing truth he was trying to instill in his disciples. Jesus was teaching the simple truth of trust. He desires that all of his children would live in the light of absolute dependence upon Him. Trusting in His finished work of the cross for our salvation is just the beginning of our trust journey.

If I could use one word to describe a “super believer” it would be the word TRUST. The ultimate attribute and quality of a follower of Jesus is our ability to fully trust him with every event, situation and aspect of our life. The Scripture says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart (our mind, will and emotions) and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.“ (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Whatever comes our way we are to give it to the Lord and trust Him to work it all out for our good and His glory. When we stress out over a situation we are choosing to withhold our heart from Him. We are choosing to not trust Jesus and our Heavenly Father. How is it that in stressful situations we often forget that God is already fully aware of our situation, and knows the severity of our circumstance? God is never surprised at what happens to us, matter of fact, he knows in advance. That means that every situation is a test of our willingness and ability to fully trust in Him.

That reminds me of a phrase I heard an evangelist give over thirty years ago regarding how God is never surprised at what happens to us. He said, “Has it every occurred to you that nothing ever occurs to God?” It would be good for us to ponder that statement.

He wants our natural reflex to be that we immediately trust Him. We already have a head knowledge that God is bigger than any situation, but he wants us to move that trust from our head to our heart.

Bottom Line

My challenge to you for 2016 is to set a goal to ‘up your level of trust’ . When you get stressed -out about a situation, give it to God, and practice trusting Him to see you through. Then begin to see every trial as a divine test by the heavenly Father to ‘up your level of trust’.

When something occurs that gets you stressed, worried, or out of control, remember this quote, “Don’t be guilty of mistaking the middle of the chapter for the end of your story.” (Jake Colsen)

New Years Resolutions

I like New Year’s Day, and it’s not just because of the party food and football games. I like to think of it as “reboot day”. It’s a mental thing. Yes, we can make a decision to reboot on any day of the year, but there’s just something about a new year that makes our resolutions more official and legitimate. It’s a chance for the first day of something new.

Over the years, I have heard comments like, “Making New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time, besides most people never follow through.” That may be true, but they are missing the point. It’s not about how long you will last, but it’s about the fact that you saw a need, constructed a plan and made a decision.

For as many years as I can remember, I have made some sort of New Year’s resolution, and most of the time I fell by the wayside on my commitment. But on a few occasions I followed through and developed life changing habits. I look at it like the game of baseball. The most successful hitters fail 70% of the time. For every 10 times they stand at the plate they only get 3 hits. But it’s the 30% success rate that makes them a champion. It’s not about hitting a home run, but about making enough good swings to get you around the bases to score.

Where would we be if we hadn’t decided to draw a line in the sand and make a decision to do something to improve our life? You can’t improve your life if you don’t take a risk and try.

Why make a New Year’s resolution, knowing that there’s a good chance that we will bail somewhere along the way? Because every plan, however short lived, results in incremental changes.

Bottom Line
Make a bold decision this year. Draw a line in the sand and make one or more life changing resolutions. For some, that may be to read the Bible through in one year, or set a goal to read at least one self-improvement book this year. For some, it would be connecting with a small group at your church. For others it could be a decision to make a really bold step, like getting married, losing weight, starting a new business or changing jobs.

Whatever your resolution, take time to write it down, develop a plan, determine to see it through, and then make yourself accountable.

“Commit your actions to the LORD and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3