2020. It’s a new year, a new decade. For some reason, that feels like a big deal. A new year is a time to reflect, a time to focus on what is important in our lives.
Every January 1, it’s like we get to push a “reset” button. We get a clean slate, a fresh canvas to paint on. The truth is, we actually get a new start every 24 hours, not just every 365 days.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
I have never really been one to make “New Year’s resolutions.” I do like the concept of examining life and setting goals for a coming year. It’s just that in my mind, the word “resolution” sounds so serious. I don’t want to just resolve to lose weight and exercise more because I ate too many Christmas cookies, and then quit by February. And I don’t want to set lofty goals that I won’t be able to stick to and then get discouraged. If I resolve to do something, especially for a whole year, I want to really put my heart into it.
So instead of New Year’s resolutions, I’d rather think about what I want my life to display one day at a time. With God’s help, I want to try to be a little bit better every day than I was the day before. I want to be a better wife, a better mother, better at loving God, and better at loving others.
I am asking God to help me do more of certain things in 2020, and less of others. Here are some of my all time favorite Bible verses that I hope will encourage you and me as we look forward to walking closer with God each day of this new year.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.“ Matthew 6:34
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6
“Do all things without complaining and disputing” Philippians 2:14
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16
Less Selfishness, More Humility
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
More Compassion, Kindness, and Forgiveness
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
Less Anxiety, More Peace
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” Psalm 16:11
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Psalm 130: 5
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
More Time Reading the Bible
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
The only way any I can achieve these characteristics that I want to define my daily life is through God’s amazing grace. None of them have anything to do with my ability to make or keep resolutions, or to change my life through my own efforts. It is all about focusing on Christ and His power. It is my prayer that through my weakness, He will display His strength, that He will be glorified through my life.
We don’t know what 2020 holds, in our individual lives, or for the world, but we can be sure it will have ups and downs, blessings and trials. We don’t know the future, but we can trust in the God who does.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” Jeremiah 29:11-13
God invites us through His Word and prayer to learn about His character and abide with Him always. Every morning that we wake up is a new chance to experience more of God’s goodness and the fullness of life that comes only from knowing Him. I pray that you and I will resolve to seek Him and find Him more every day of 2020.
Happy New Year!