The new year always brings in new hopes, new ideas, and new inspiration, and this is well and good. No good thing should be despised.
But since the point of aiming is to hit something, we should pick something achievable. By one measure only around 8% of people achieve their resolutions, so we should sets goals and resolutions that are simple, specific and achievable.
I want to encourage you to consider shaping at least one resolution in a slightly different way. George MacDonald said, “That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, “Thou art my refuge.””
This resolution would be to plan on having a hard season or trial, and prepare to be diligent in worship, prayer, in Bible reading, in fellowship—to basically be a functioning Christian—when hard times come.
We spend a lot of time trying to change our attitudes and feelings, but what if we focused on our actions, regardless of how we feel? If knowing that at some point in the probably not-too-distant future we will be or really feel like we are in the darkness, would it if we prepared now to seek the light?
Paul tells Timothy to “Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, will all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry“ (2 Tim. 4:2-3, 5).
There would be a time when people would not listen to Timothy, but so what, he was supposed to keep doing what he was doing and endure affliction. You prepare for hard times by saving in the years of plenty. You sow in one season so you can reap in another. You grow in the fear of God and courage before men so you’re ready when it’s needed. If you want to thrive during the storm that will surely come, resolve to sink deeps roots now in the soil of God’s grace.