by Joanna Polarek
Keeping a resolution can be hard, but if you trust the process and put your trust in the Lord, He will provide
Suppose you are one of the 38.5% of adults who declare a New Year’s resolution each year. You most likely have thought about a goal that reflects better health, relationships, professional goals, or finances, or maybe you’ve thought of pursuing a new hobby. Whatever your resolution is, statistically speaking (thank you, InsideOutMastery.com), there is a good chance that you will not stick to the resolution. Only around 9% actually do. This information isn’t intended to be a discouragement. It is simply a reality that we often set out with ambition but are not equipped to see the goal through. The reasons will vary from person to person, but the great plan often fades, bringing us back to old habits.
So, how can you see the big picture, go through the complex challenges of making it happen, and then experience the reward of meeting the goal?
Well, there is a story in the Bible that challenged people for not one year but 40. (Check out the book of Exodus in the Bible to read the full story.) God saw His people, the Israelites. He heard their cries for mercy and removed from them that old life. They wanted to see the reward but kept taking a few steps back for every step forward. You see, they lacked faith. These people even considered returning to their old life, where they were enslaved, oppressed, and considered less than worthy. That was a life they understood. It was all they knew. This new freedom felt hard, because they had to learn to trust and have faith. The problem was that there was still a lot of work they needed to do to get the reward.
If you are like these people, you can relate, knowing that hard work can be tedious, challenging, and sometimes uncertain. The good news is you’re not alone when you experience those moments. The same God who took those people from their old life can also help you. Let us bookmark this story for a moment—we’ll come back.
Broken resolutions and the hardships the Israelites went through may seem like very different situations, but they share this: Experiencing doubt, having feelings of giving up, and not remaining faithful along the journey ends in failure.
Let’s return to our story of the Israelites trekking through the desert for 40 years— because there is good news. The Israelites would call out to God to provide them water, food, and protection, and every single time, God showed up and provided just enough of what they needed in those moments. (Again, check out the book of Exodus because there is example after example of God providing just enough provision to His people when they needed it.) The same is true for someone trying to be strong and consistent with their resolution.
You may be receiving just enough strength to get up in the morning so that you can make it to the gym before work, or you might be balancing just enough time to reach out to that person you’re trying to build a better relationship with, or maybe you’ve found an extra expense you’re willing to let go of so that there is just enough money to go into the savings you hope to build. Whatever your goal may be, it can be accomplished if you truly desire it.
Have you considered the idea of wanting to start a relationship with God? Are you trying to figure out how to make that happen? Perhaps the idea is pleasing to you, but seeing it through isn’t clear—that’s OK. It all starts with the simple first step: “Lord, I desire to have a relationship with you. I want to know you.” He will provide you with just enough of what you need at that moment to know that you are not alone or abandoned. If you can trust the process of creating a resolution, as the Israelites trusted God to get them to the Promised Land—40 years later because they were a bit stubborn (but you will have to read the book of Exodus to see how God handled it all)—then trust your heart, mind, and soul to seek a relationship with the Lord. Even Moses, a faithful believer in God and whom God chose to lead His people (as you will read in Exodus), was given just enough strength through the Holy Spirit to sustain him during this journey. He will be there from start to finish. That is His promise.
From Isaiah 43:2–3a (NLT): “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Reminders that Jesus gives just enough…
Jesus is the Truth
Begin by asking Him into your life, accepting that He, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to forgive your sins. He patiently waits for you to accept Him into your life.
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” —John 14:6, NLT
Jesus is our Savior
You are forgiven from sin because you have accepted Him into your heart, have sincerely asked for forgiveness, and seek a relationship with Him.
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” —Ephesians 2:8–10, NLT
Jesus is Love
His love is greater than any love.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Romans 8:38–39, NLT