A New Year. A New Beginning. Making Resolutions.

Happy New Year to all my readers and followers. I hope everyone had a safe celebration ringing in the new year.

If you’re like most you will probably make some new years resolutions today on things like losing weight, stopping smoking, being kinder to people and anything else you might think as important.

Making a new year resolution can be good but from God’s perspective it’s important how, when and if you stick with your promise. Especially if your promise is to God. God’s word is very clear on what He expects from us when we make a promise to Him.

“When a man makes a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to put himself under an obligation, he must not break his word; he must do whatever he has promised.”—Numbers 30:2

As you go about making your new year resolutions, remember, if you make a promise to God it’s important that you keep it. When you do, you will be blessed.

Even Though It’s Saturday, Walk With Faith

Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God—Romans 4:20

The walk of faith begins at salvation and continues until we reach heaven. At first we may stumble, but along the way, our focus should begin to shift: Instead of focusing on the obstacles facing us, we should look to the Lord. And rather than battle nagging doubts about God’s trustworthiness, we should cling to the knowledge that He loves us and is always faithful to His Word.

This kind of thinking, practiced consistently, will lead us into mature faith, which rests in the goodness and sufficiency of God. We’ll begin to see our obstacles through the Lord’s eyes and grow strong in faith, giving glory to God.

God’s Goal For You—Become More Like Jesus

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.— 2 Peter 3:9

God is at work everywhere. In the very first verse of the Bible, He creates the heavens and earth. In the last verses of Revelation, He calls people to be saved. Throughout Scripture and in the world today, the Lord is active in the lives of believers and unbelievers, although in very different ways.

As God chooses to work in our life, we must trust Him. The Lord promised Abraham a son but silently waited 25 years to honor His vow. What appears slow to us is not slow to God. He works out the perfect timing of events. Our patience to wait on Him demonstrates our trust, which is rewarded when we come ever closer to God’s goal: to become more like Jesus.

Do You Trust God To Do What He Promises To Do?

God wants us to make right decisions, which means choices that align with His will. He has promised to give us instruction and direction so we’ll know how to proceed (Psalm 32:8).

Although we all want quick answers from the Lord, Scripture tells us to pray tirelessly, without giving up. Persisting in prayer positions us to be drawn closer to God, where we are better prepared to hear from Him.

Trusting in God’s promises will lift us above our doubts into a place of quiet rest. We may not have an answer yet, but in waiting on Him with hopeful expectation, we’ll experience His “peace which surpasses all comprehension” (Phil. 4:7).

Scripture urges us to let Christ’s peace rule in our heart (Col. 3:15). Doing so will help us find our way past confusion and receive His clear direction without doubting. Discovering God’s will is worth every effort we make and any time spent waiting.

God’s Promises Are Trustworthy In The Storms Of Life

Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.—2 Peter 1:4

The Bible is a gold mine of promises for believers. During any season, but especially in hard times, God’s promises provide an anchor for our soul. They give us hope and enable us to be courageous and bold when facing challenges.

Many individuals do not rely on God’s assurances. There are two reasons for this. First, some people are unaware of His promises. Second, others simply do not believe them to be true. A lot of believers can quote Scripture, but when they face a daunting trial—like a job loss or frightening diagnosis—their confidence wavers and doubt prevails.

Jesus gives believers assurance of protection, hope, eternal security, counsel, and guidance in the Scriptures. Do you trust Him?

Study, memorize, meditate on, and claim these biblical truths. Then, when trials arise, you’ll have an anchor to keep you steady.

God’s Blessings Are Rich and Abundant

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.—Psalm 37:4

God’s blessings are so rich and abundant that we must guard against loving Him merely for what He gives us. He Himself is to be the greatest passion of a believer’s life. And if this is true of us, then we will prioritize Him over possessions, vocation, and even other relationships.

Yet some people miss the true message of Psalm 37:4 because they focus only on the part that seems to say they can get what they want from God. It’s important to notice that the qualifying statement attached to that promise is devotion to Him: “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (emphasis added).

Although God “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy,” they should never supplant our delight in Him (1 Timothy 6:17). For instance, God has made it possible for me to travel and photograph some beautiful places, but I know that the key to enjoying life is to delight in Him above all else. God’s rightful place is as Lord of our life; to give anything else that position puts us at risk and dishonors Him.

The human heart is naturally selfish, and without God as top priority, we will likely pursue earthly goods and pleasures. But when He is our first love, those cravings are replaced by desires that fit His will and purpose for us.

Although David faced great tragedy and heartache, he understood that a heart devoted to the Lord also knows delight and blessing. Take David’s words to heart, and let the Lord become your top priority. You will discover that knowing Him is your greatest delight.

Four Characteristics of Godly Love

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
— I Corinthians 13:7 ESV

According to Jesus, love of God and neighbor are the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-39). Indeed, He said that “‘All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments'” (Matthew 22:40). In other words, every other commandment is in some way a commandment to love. One should not covet, for example, because that would not be an act of love toward one’s neighbor.

The verse above lists four characteristics of Godly love.

First, love bears all things. The person who truly loves God and neighbor should not be easily offended or hurt. Love puts up with things. It does not allow perceived slights and offenses, from God or people, to easily get to us and undermine our love.

Second, love believes all things. That is, the person of love always thinks the best of God and neighbor. With respect to God, love does not attribute wrong motives and intentions to what God says. With respect to neighbors, love is not overly suspicious of what people say. This does not mean that love is na ve. After all, the Bible also says that we should “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (I John 4:1). But it does mean that we should not be quick to suspect the worst of our neighbors.

Third, love hopes all things. With respect to God, this means that love trusts that God will fulfill His promises and that He will bring His glorious plan of redemption to complete fulfillment. With respect to neighbors, this means that love expects the best of people and believes that they can change for the better with the help of the Lord.

Finally, love endures all things. If we are to truly love God and neighbor, then we should not easily give up on love. No matter what happens to us trials, troubles, tribulations, offenses, hurts, wounds we should not cease to love. Sometimes God allows things to happen that we may not like or understand and sometimes people do things that wound us or hurt us in some way. The person of love continues to love and endures these things.

The two greatest commandments are great because they are central to what human existence is all about. Everything we say and do is governed by them. Today, and every day, therefore, let love reign.