|Posted by [email protected] on December 31, 2016 at 6:00 PM|
A New Year: A Time of Hope, Resolutions, and More..
It’s New Year’s Eve, and 2017 is almost here and many of us wait with excitement for the holiday parties, Watch Night Service, family board game night, sleepovers, the Peach Drop and many other ways to mark the beginning of a brand new year. It’s a time of excitement, wonder, trepidation, uncertainty, and hope. Hope that this year will be different. Will this be a season of change that will usher in one’s dreams and delivery long-forgotten goals?
Tomorrow, millions of Americans and people all over the world will make New Year’s resolutions. In 2015, the top ten resolutions were as follows: 1) Lose Weight; 2) Getting Organized, 3) Spend Less, Save More; 4) Enjoy Life to the Fullest; 5) Staying Fit and Healthy; 6) Learn Something Exciting; 7) Quit Smoking; 8 ) Help Others in Their Dreams; 9) Fall in Love; and 10) Spend More Time with Family. While all of these were quite noble goals, not many of these were kept. In fact, it is estimated that about 45% of Americans make resolutions, but only about eight percent ever succeeds at these resolutions. I am sure that you would also find it interesting that 47% of all resolutions are related to self-improvement, 38% are related to weight, 34% are related to money, and the remaining 31% are related to relationships. Once followed, about 75% of those making resolutions will achieve them during the first week, but this number falls to 46% at six months. Of course, as one would imagine, the number of people continuing to keep resolutions after six months continues to fall and often by the end of the year, most people have forgotten these resolutions.
2017! Biblically, number 17 symbolizes "overcoming the enemy" and "complete victory." God overcame the sins of rebellious humans when he began to flood the earth through rain on the 17th of the second Hebrew month. Noah's ark and its eight passengers rested on the mountains of Ararat on the 17th of the seventh month (right in the middle of God's annual Holy period known as the Feast of Tabernacles). In addition, the Bible shares many victories that were associated with the number 17. Could this your year of victory? Can I submit that it could be, but only if we approach the year in a different way.
Dr. Meg you ask, are you suggesting that we do away with resolutions. Not at all! Yet, even for Christians, we tend to make resolutions to pray more, read the bible front to back, attend church more regularly, etc., and while these are great goals, these fall aside like the non-Christian resolutions, as there is no power in resolutions. So, you ask what then can we do differently. Here are my suggestions. First, pray to God for his wisdom about what kind of resolutions, if any you should make. Second, ask for his favor, grace, and mercy to fulfill these resolutions. Third, rely on God’s strength to help you stick to your resolutions. Fourth, find an accountability partner/s (a pastor, spouse, friend, etc.) to whom you can share your struggles and look to for support. Lastly, keep God in the center of your year and resolutions and only then will it have a chance to succeed. God’s word is clear, “many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).
So, get before God, ask for his help, and who knows 2017 might really be your year of victory.
Please feel free to comment on our post as well as share your experience with New Year’s resolutions.
Have a victorious new year!