Pastor Jason Murphy
My New Year’s Resolution or His?
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
We are programmed to view January 1st as a new year which has the potential to bring a new beginning for us and our lives. In reality, there really is no difference from December 31st and January 1st. Nothing cataclysmic or miraculous happens at precisely 12:01 a.m. on January 1st that makes the previous year disappear with all of its hardships and struggles, and the new year supernaturally explodes on the scene with ease, blessing, and prosperity. No, there really is no difference between December 31st and January 1st.
However, in our thinking, there is a huge difference between the two dates. In our minds, January 1st marks a new year, a new chance to change things. In our minds, the new year represents a chance at a new beginning. Therefore, many people start out the new year with resolutions to change their behavior or to improve in some area of life. They resolve to lose weight, make more money, finish their degree, or get healthy in every area of life such as spiritually, physically, mentally, financially, relationally, etc.
The word resolution in this context means, “a decision or determination”; “the act determining upon an action”; “a course of action, method or procedure”. In other words, when we think of a new year’s resolution, we think of a decision that needs to be made to change or improve some area of our life. Then, we determine a course of action that will bring about the desired result.
People resolve to do all kinds of things. They do really well for a week, maybe a month or two, then reality hits. They slip right back into their old ways. Consequently, they feel like a failure. They are deflated, defeated, and disillusioned. They are left wondering, “What was wrong with my new year’s resolution?”.
most people have trouble keeping their resolutions precisely because they are THEIR resolutions.
I have a theory as to why most people have trouble keeping their new year’s resolutions. My theory is that most people have trouble keeping their resolutions precisely because they are THEIR resolutions. They never stopped to get the mind of Christ, or the will of God, for their life in the new year. They have trouble keeping their new year’s resolution because it is theirs and not His for their lives. Let me show you what I mean by considering the very familiar passage of Scripture found in Philippians 4:13.
Philippians 4:13, from the New King James Version, states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” A vast majority of Christians read that passage of Scripture and think, “When I make my new year’s resolution, God is going to help me to do it.” After all, His Word says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But is that the case? Let’s say that you make a new year’s resolution to run a marathon. Is God obligated to strengthen you to run a marathon simply because you made a new year’s resolution to run one? I don’t think so.
J.B. Phillips, in his Phillips Translation. renders Philippians 4:13 as follows, “I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me.” The Living Bible reads, “for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.” The Amplified Bible reads, “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”
Getting the picture? You can do anything, as long as it is God's idea and plan for you. If it is His will and plan for you, then He will give you the strength and power to do it. The strength and power to do His will are within you so that all you have to do is release it. However, the strength and power within you are put in you by Him for His purpose.
If a new year’s resolution is really God's idea, or will, for you to do something, even if it is running a marathon, then He will give you the strength and power you need to accomplish the task. Therefore, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you”! Just make sure your new year’s resolution is His new year’s resolution for you.