Scriptures of the Day:
1 Peter 4:1
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same resolve-because the One who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin.”
“When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart.”
Hope Discovery of the Day:
Just because something is hard does not mean we should stop.
Some resolutions we make aren’t worth keeping. Really. They are formed in vanity or pride. Achieving them would likely produce more pride if they are for our own glory. Like so many resolutions that have been formed, they are man-centered with a focus on our ability. I am not saying it isn’t good to have some personal goals, but the motivation behind them is what matters.
But then there are resolutions that come from another place entirely. Springing up from faith within us, out of a desire to honor God. Achieving these goals is a spiritual matter. We know we are not able in our own strength. Still, we set goals, knowing we might fail, but seeking to try, anyway.
What makes some resolutions stick, while others don’t? Resolve. Prepare yourself. I am about to get nerdy on you here.
Looking up the definition of resolve, we discover that it is “to settle or find a solution to” or to “decide firmly on a course of action”, or a “firm determination to do something”.
Looking at the word itself – re·solve – it means to try and solve again. “Re” means again. Here lies the secret of our resolutions. We work at our goals again and again until we achieve our objective or solve a problem. It is in working consistently on our goals that we being to realize our pursuit was about much more than merely achieving our goals. Lessons learned along the way, character developed as we stick to our resolve, and beautiful dependence upon God throughout, make resolutions meaningful. And these results from our resolve last long past the end of our goal.
Resolution is the noun form of the word resolve. When we make a resolution we are not just stating a wish, but making a proclamation and a promise. We are making a promise to ourselves and to God that we will work at what He has placed in our hearts – again and again – and not stop until He says so.
Our flesh does not like having to try again and again. It likes its comfort. And so the trend continues of resolutions made and broken almost as fast as they were made. Then there are those who refuse to make a resolution, rationalizing that it is pointless because it is too hard and they probably will not be successful, anyway.
But in our weakness, He is strong. If we never set higher goals for ourselves, we don’t just stay the same – we diminish. Living is vibrant when we continually try to grow.
Examining our initial resolve, we can firm up that resolve by avoiding common pitfalls to our resolve.
Fear will not help us achieve our goals. Fear of failure can just become a self-fulfilling prophesy. We overcome fear by focusing on God and having faith in His ability through us, rather than our own strength. It has also been said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Why are we afraid of failure? Failure says we are staying in the fight. Giving up is the ultimate failure. Don’t give in to fear. Face it and overcome it.
Edison had to make 1,000 lightbulbs before he finally had one that worked. What if he stopped at 999? We might still be in the dark, people. Just because something is hard does not mean we should stop. Hard means it is worthwhile achieving.
Maybe we feel too weak to carry out our resolve. What a great place to be! This is when we see God’s strength operating within us. There is nothing admirable about striving to reach a goal that takes little to no effort. But choosing to achieve something greater than ourselves takes dependence upon God.
Now that we have seen a few of the common obstacles, we can also remind ourselves of some resolve builders. God can help us strengthen our resolve. If we are willing.
We have got to be in His Word, not just talking about it. When we consistently seek God in His Word, the Holy Spirit reminds us of His promises and strengthens us to keep going.
God promises to give wisdom to all. All. If we will come and ask Him for wisdom and ability, He will answer.
Having a partner to encourage us to continue in our resolve can make all the difference in the world.
Resolve to resolve. Don’t try to protect yourself from resolving because you are afraid you will not meet your goals. Go for it! Dust yourself off when you don’t quite make it yet and just. keep. going.
Lord, we offer You all we are and ask that You help us to resolve to live worthy lives for Your glory. Help us to set goals that honor you and to never shrink back from the calling You have placed in our hearts. To Your Name alone be all the glory! In Jesus’ magnificent Name!