12/31/19 morning: As I write this I am tired and down. But I want to take a short time to reflect on 2019 and record my resolves for 2020. I believe setting resolves are helpful if we remember to keep our focus on them and ask for God’s power and enablement to succeed in improvements in life. January 1, the beginning of a fresh new year, at least by the calendar’s markings, give an opportunity to self-reflect and renew and set resolves. But I am also mindful that each new day, with its new mercy from God, is also important for pursuing our resolves for improvement.
My Christmas Letter 2019 post has already summarized some of the events and things about my life this 2019 year. They were all the positives-all the big things and main things God helped me do by His grace. I could easily make, I’m sure, an even longer list of failures, sins and disappointments in 2019. But I won’t. I would like to consider last year’s resolves which were: 1. Accepting God’s plan and not my own; 2. Loving Intentionally; and 3. Exercise and Prayer. Did these resolves make any difference for my 2019? I believe they did and these resolves are for my lifetime.
1. Accepting God’s plan and not my own. I have come to grips more with accepting my health issues and other disappointments with life and I am doing better at trusting God’s plan for my life and relinquishing my own plans. I am learning to rest better when I am sick and feeling less guilty about it. I am believing more that God is doing something with my life, that often seems so insignificant or even meaningless to me, than I can yet see. Whatever my life is, I know all of my days have been ordained by God and I am learning to trust Him more with that.
2. Loving Intentionally. There were many times when my response to a loved one or friend were put in check by this focus. I chose loving words many times. Often I still failed, but overall this resolve has helped me in remembering to overcome evil with good and to speak lovingly and encouragingly to others. It also helped me to be intentional about making meetings and gatherings of people in my life happen. I’ve prayed for God to show me who He wants me to reach out to, then to be intentional to make it happen when I am able to do so. This resolve also reminded me to simply remember to worship, praise, and thank God more often–to verbalize my love to Him more often.
3. Exercise and Prayer. I did better on this especially the first six months or so of 2019. Then I got sicker and exercise sometimes seemed too much for me. I did many, many prayer walks through my neighborhood and local park that would not have happened had I not set this goal. This like all my resolves will be an ongoing focus for my life. The moving of my body and focusing of my mind together is a great way to multi-task and has had a good impact for me.
My resolves for 2020 are more simple and general, but I believe will be more far-reaching. I’ve been thinking and praying about what God is asking me to resolve to for the last few months. I’ve received confirmation of these resolves through my pastor’s recent sermon messages and also through Piper’s sermon series on Romans I’ve been reading online, as well as my meditations in Hebrews lately.
- Persist in Prayer.
- Put on the Lord Jesus Christ (put on faith in Him, hope in Him and love for Him).
I may write more about what I mean by these things later. Will I succeed every day in 2020? Likely not. But I believe setting these desires in my mind, and asking for God’s help in implementing them in my life, will have a deep effect on carrying these callings out and helping me with all of my life resolves and desire to bring glory and honor to the Name of Jesus Christ. Because He is worthy and He is faithful.
What are you thinking about this New Year’s season?