The moment we unwrap the last Christmas present, we quickly turn our attention to the next year—and everything we’re going to change about our lives to make them better.
Realistically, we all know that we won’t actually keep 95% of our resolutions. (I didn’t keep the counter clean like I promised last year.) Yet that doesn’t keep us from trying to improve ourselves and our situations.
Did you know that God makes resolutions every year too? (Granted, his have been the same for thousands of years because he never changes.) Still, I thought this would be a good time to review all the resolutions God makes—and maybe those will help you keep your resolutions in perspective.
I will be with you.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-3).
Whatever the “waters, rivers, and fires” you face this year, your God is with you. Your troubles don’t separate you from him—because you are his.
I will help you.
“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless” (Psalm 10:14).
God isn’t some disinterested, far-off spiritual being in the sky. He is the Father. He is your Father. He is committed to you for today, for tomorrow, for your whole life, and then for your eternity.
I will forget your sins.
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25).
Maybe last year you resolved to clean up your life, not to drink too much, to stop yelling at the kids, to stop getting into fights on social media about politics. But . . . that didn’t go so well. God says those sins aren’t just brushed off with an “it’s okay” (because sin isn’t okay) but, thanks to Jesus, they are wiped away and completely forgotten.
I will give you rest.
“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” (Matthew 11:28,29).
You make resolutions because you want this work to get better. I hate to be a downer, but we all know that at some point this year we will have bad days. God is there with gentleness for your weariness.
I will be here.
“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
I know this is pretty much a repeat of the first point, but—if you’re like me—it’s so easy to forget that we’re not alone. Whatever happens to you this year, God is with you. He isn’t going anywhere. (In case you need more than just this one short reminder, you should check out Pastor Mike’s book.)
Why am I so confident God will keep every one of these resolutions?
Because Jesus had a resolution too: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).
Jesus resolutely set out for the place where he would absorb the Father’s wrath over your sin, where he would take your punishment in your place. Because he did that—and then came back to life, defeating death forever—your greatest problem has been overcome. Your God now calls you his child and is thrilled to bless you, to act on your behalf, to rejoice over you with singing, to keep his resolutions.
And that truth is what will make this year, no matter what happens, a happy New Year!
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who hasn’t made a New Year’s resolution yet.