It's a new year and with that comes resolutions and goals. Everything I see and hear seems to be centered around losing weight or being more organized and taking control of your life. Everyone is joining the gym but I am still eating the last of the Christmas cookies – yum. The turn of a new year is an exciting time that brings hope and fosters many desires to be more disciplined and self-controlled. These desires, while good, can sometimes lead to despair because we lament the many times that these good intentions have fallen by the wayside and not been kept. These desires may also be a dangerous foray into idolatry because they are selfish and the end goal is our glory. What is the motivation for setting your goals? For instance, are you losing weight because you need to repent of the abuse of food and you desire to honor God with your body or are you motivated out of vanity because you want to look good and are struggling with guilt? Don't lose heart, this is not meant to leave you uncertain of every resolution you made this year. The setting of goals and working to see them fulfilled is a good thing. We should be a resolute people.
“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11–12, ESV)
I love this prayer because Paul is praying that every good resolution would be kept – "fulfill every resolve for good." However, he is making sure we don't miss the fact that they must be rooted in the gospel. It is to be done "by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Check your resolutions. Make some new ones if need be and remember January 1st is not the only time to resolve oneself. May we be a people worthy of his calling, fulfilling every good resolve, doing every work of faith by his power for his glory alone. Happy New Year.