The countdown is over and the New Year is here! Some of us are seriously excited, and others of us…not so much. That’s not exactly the mindset God wants us to have. If you give it some thought, you’ll see that Heavenly Father has woven a few reset buttons within our existence, and a lot of us don’t use them to their fullest advantage. We set certain limitations in our minds and hearts. Most of us are okay with a little bit of change, but seldom do we allow ourselves the luxury of imagining a total transformation not only for ourselves, but for others as well.
In Isaiah 43:13-15 The Message (MSG), Heavenly Father said, “13 Yes, I am God. I’ve always been God and I always will be God. No one can take anything from me. I make; who can unmake it?” 14-15 God, your Redeemer, The Holy of Israel, says: “Just for you, I will march on Babylon. I’ll turn the tables on the Babylonians. Instead of whooping it up, they’ll be wailing. I am God, your Holy One, Creator of Israel, your King.” In this passage, God is telling and showing them (and us) who’s BOSS! He’s our Keeper, Protector, Shield, Provider, Maker, and King! He’s our everything, and there isn’t anything that He can’t do. He’s willing and able to help us fight any battle and win. Our privilege and responsibility is to trust Him, and remove the shackles of limitations from our minds and hearts.
Lamentations 3:22-23(NLT) tells us, “22 The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” We are never too old to begin again, and God’s mercy allows us a continual fresh start. Every 24 hours God gives us a new day, and He’s been blessing us this way for longer than you and I can know. In like manner, every 365 days, He gives us a new year. Major reset there. We get to end each year by celebrating the birth of our blessed Lord and Savior. And we can also reflect, reevaluate, and unload some stuff that didn’t serve us well during the previous year.
One of the major setbacks overshadowing the reset we all desperately need is forgetting to be thankful and remembering what the holiday season is all about. It’s meant to get us to take a breath so that we can refresh and get our minds anchored in the goodness of God. Instead, many of us have allowed the world to burden us with its agenda, and the season becomes riddled with anxiety and pressure. We lose the chance to reset according to the seasons and timelines that God has allowed.
The start of the New Year is most definitely God’s wake up call to believers to leave the old behind and embark on a new chapter in life. Most people get this, and that’s why just about everyone has a New Year’s resolution that they try their best to stick to every year. Some are successful, but a lot of us kick that resolution to the curb when we find it isn’t as easy as we thought it might be.
We start off trying to take big bites, when a lot of the times we’re meant to just nibble our way through. But big chucks or small bites, in the end the whole point is that positive change is good! People are transforming themselves all the time, and Christians should have a mindset that believes transformation is possible for anyone who loves and knows Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
God has given us our marching orders in Romans 12:2. He tells us to renew our minds to the truth of His Word, so that we will be transformed through and through. If we look only at our stick-to-it-ness, and don’t factor in God’s overwhelming love, willingness, and ability to help us make changes, we might give up. We won’t believe in our own ability to change for the better, and therefore, we will also be skeptical of others; but when we trust in God’s power, we will prove what His good, acceptable, and perfect Will for us is.
Hitting the reset button in our minds and hearts gives us an opportunity to be renewed in faith, and to believe in our ability to go higher in Christ. That’s what is most important, because when we believe the best in ourselves, it will spill over into believing the best in others as well. It’s not so much about how we look or the relationships we forge; it’s about understanding that change begins in our hearts first. There must be a spiritual transformation in us, and it can only happen if we’re making time to grow and know God better.
Isaiah 43:16-21(MSG) tells us, “This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” How awesome is this?!!! Change is good! It’s a necessity in order to grow in any area of your life. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God has given us a chance to keep getting better and better. In 2018, let’s be committed to hit the reset button by making positive changes. We can start with small bites like changes in our attitudes and thoughts. As we make progress on the small things, God will continue to help us with the big things. If we’re alert and present, we won’t miss it when He pulls out all the stops and makes 2018 a monumental year of growth and blessings. ■
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.