For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:36 nrsv
Do you get excited about the start of a brand new year? I do. For me, a new year is like the blank page of a new journal. All that white space just waiting to be filled in with the outcomes of the new year’s executed goals. Indeed, we wonder what the new year will bring, however, there’s a tendency to over implement. I’m guilty of doing that in the past. But part of goal-reaching also involves something else–resilience and real resolve. Resilience includes taking the three parts of our humanness–the physical, emotional and the spiritual aspects and applying them to our goals. Resilience is also about planning for the “what-if” scenarios of life. And it also involves how well we bounce back after a major setback or a downturn of circumstances. But, we can protect ourselves from getting overwhelmed with our personal agendas by first seeking what the Lord would have us do.
Resilience and Resolve Mean Perseverance
If we take our faith walk seriously, we prayerfully ask the Lord to guide our steps in this new year. As a Christ-follower, what is important to God should be important to us. And since we know God desires obedience, doing His will should be our over-arching goal. This is where the importance of resilience comes in. For example, the people God chose to carry out His will were people just like you and me. They struggled to overcome failures, obstacles, and discouragement. However, in the end they kept their resolve and resilience in order to follow through with God’s agenda. When God calls He also equips. Biblical examples include Esther, Moses, and Gideon. Esther left her own home to go live within the king’s palace. She represented her people, exposed a traitor, and confronted the king to put an end to an evil plot, putting her own life at risk. Moses chose to be a slave instead of living a life of privilege, and Gideon, despite his fears, trusted God. Each of these people possessed quiet perseverance created by a resilient faith.
Resilience and Resolve Require Love and Obedience
Taking the path of resilience and resolve is a far better for accomplishing God’s will then merely new yea’s resolutions alone. The secret is in keeping close to the Vine, (Christ). By closely abiding in Jesus, He’ll provide our resolve and resilience to carry out His agenda as well as keeping our life in balance. In those times when we feel weak or when our resilience or resolve is waning, go to the Lord in prayer. Out of love for Jesus comes obedience so continue to do the will of God even when you don’t feel like it. Love is not just lovely words; it is commitment and conduct.1 Jesus says in John 14:21, “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father…” (nrsv).
In this new year, consider what the Lord wants you to do that will require resolve and resilience. And if you make prayer a significant part of your life, He’ll help you to stay focused and balanced. Through prayer, God’s Spirit softens and molds our heart. Like other worthwhile endeavors, you may not always feel spiritual, but because the Lord desires obedience, follow through anyway, as this leads to blessings. “By faith he [Moses] left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27 nrsv).
Blessings to you in the new year,
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1Bible Note for John 14:21, Life Application Bible (Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible Publishers, Inc., 1989).