The new year is a good time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished over the past 12 months, to thank God for the blessings He’s brought our way, and to open our hearts and minds in anticipation of all that is to come in the year ahead.
Many people also take advantage of the new start to make resolutions for improving their character, fitness level, health, knowledge, or circumstances. God wants us to examine our lives regularly, and to try to become better persons every day. “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”1
God makes resolutions too, and fortunately for us, these are usually to do good things for His children: “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame,”2 for example.
If keeping your resolutions is difficult, you’re not alone. University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.3 What’s usually happened in my case is that whatever I resolved to accomplish or change was either so formidable that I never felt ready to get started, or conversely, so trivial that I put it off, thinking I’d get around to it some other time. However, someone recently pointed me to an article about setting SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound) goals,4 and my first resolution this year is to give it an honest try.
But what about God? Does He ever fail to comply with or carry out His resolutions? Thankfully not. As Joshua observed, “The Lord promised to do many good things for Israel, and he kept his promise every time.”5
May your 2014 be filled with God’s kept promises!