New Year’s Resolutions were made to be broken. Or were they? Jesus speaks in the Parable of the Sower of those who had received His word but didn’t continue on with the same enthusiasm they felt upon hearing it for the first time. He calls it “stony places” when He says that “the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he no root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” What Jesus is saying here is that those who aren’t “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17) or “Rooted and built up in Him” (Colossians 2:7) are bound to give up on the thing that had at one time made them joyful and .
But there are also other things that would conspire to keep us from fulfilling our resolutions. Whether we made them at some point in our past or just today.
“Looking unto Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:2)
For instance—and I’m using this with reference to our resolutions, because let’s face it, any resolutions that aren’t based on God’s word are neither here, nor there—anything that would keep us from “looking unto Jesus” is going to hamper our resolve. They’re different for everyone.
“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13) The same sentiment is expressed in Galatians (6:9) where Paul says “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (emphasis mine) Both scriptures of Paul’s cite weariness as hinderances to our “well doing”, our continuance in doing the will of the Lord. Our resolve may apply to any number of things and weariness is allayed by seeing that God’s joy is our strength. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Other people may try and hinder us from keeping our promises (to ourselves, to God) but I believe that once we overcome distractions leveled at us, whether in spirit (towards the Lord) or in body (weariness) then having conquered the weakness of our own flesh, then we can deal with people who seek to derail us from our missions.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
In closing, I’d like to make mention of the mid-nineteenth century British sailing ship the H.M.S. Resolute. For two years, it was stuck on an ice shelf having sailed out in search of another ship that had suffered the same fate. Sure it was rescued and returned to England (by the Americans) but it’s timbers were used, carved into a desk that was presented to the President and now sits in the oval office. Point is I suppose, don’t let your resolve get frozen and stuck behind a desk.
Happy New Year “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and hounour and immortality, eternal life.” (Romans 2:7)
Lots more than just one year’s worth of resolve…