Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 30th


A Fresh Beginning. Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Every January, millions of people begin their year with New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight, getting organized, exercising more, eating healthier, and managing finances better are some of the most common resolutions. But what about making spiritual New Year’s resolutions?

We make commitments and tell our friends and family on January 1st, only to give it all up by January 3rd. But as humans, our struggles for consistency goes way beyond resolutions. Making commitments we can’t keep runs all through society, back to Biblical times. In the Bible, James spoke of some people who can teach us a valuable lesson about great intentions that aren’t aligned with God’s will:

“Go to now, ye that say, to day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that apparently for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:13-17

Our plans may or may not be God’s plans. If we want to be successful with any New Year’s resolution, we must seek God’s will. By His strength we might lose weight, eat better, or become better stewards of our finances. What does God want for our lives? When he convicts, he also equips us to follow through with the plan. When we know we are following God’s plan, then we have more strength to stick to it, allowing Him to work well beyond our normal January 3rd quitting date.

James 5:7-8 “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”

The farmer waits patiently for the Lord to bring the growth but it doesn’t mean he sits on his porch doing nothing. The farmer works hard work watering and weeding, repairing equipment, and completing all of the daily chores. When a farmer does what a farmer is supposed to do, God is able to do the things that only He can do. It’s not easy being patient.

God would be honored if we made spiritual resolutions. Read the Bible, get involved in ministry at church, share our faith with friends, make a step of faith that is too big that only God can make it happen. Resolve to represent Him no matter what the cost.

Life is not always easy. Following through on simple commitments can even be difficult when bombarded by every day affairs. In addition, the attack of the evil one will challenge us at every turn. Acts 20:32 “And now brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and go give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

What spiritual New Year’s resolutions will you make in 2020?

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