Making 2019 A Great Year!


Many of us approach the New Year by setting resolutions. Whether it’s saving more money, more exercise, dieting, changing behaviors or releasing bad habits, we make commitments to ourselves to do better in the year ahead than we did in the year that has passed. We set goals we believe will make our lives happier and healthier, and this is a worthy endeavor. God tells us numerous times in His Word that change and transformation are necessary components of the Christian walk. We come to Christ as we are, but through him we don’t remain this way. We are to grow in His love and become the people God desires us to be. Therefore, we should never allow our enthusiasm for change and transformation to dwindle. The problem is that statistics don’t paint a great portrait of the success rate for resolutions. Many of us make them, and many of us break them. So, we have to make sure that our disappointment in failed resolutions doesn’t keep us from having the great year that God has planned for us.

The negative consequences of doubt
Heavenly Father desires that we walk with power, dominion, and authority. He gave us the gift of free-will, blessed us with all spiritual blessings, and made us His sons and daughters. Heavenly Father accomplished all of this for us through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Most of us know and perhaps understand this on an intellectual basis, but we haven’t fully digested the fullness of who we are and what God has made us in Christ. Some of us still have doubt in our hearts, and this doubt keeps us from walking in the fullness of Christ.

There are no varying definitions for doubt. The mental state of doubt, and the feelings that come with it, is an enemy of God, because it means we are not trusting Him as we should in our hearts and minds. Wherever we have doubt and unbelief, we are going to experience challenges in life. Jesus demonstrated the negative consequences of doubt in Matthew 21, where Jesus cursed a fig tree and it dried up from the roots. Typically a tree dies from the top down, but this one withered in reverse. This particular tree had a problem, and Jesus diagnosed it right away. He approached it to see if there were buds on it that he could nibble on as a snack; this was a customary practice during his time. He discovered the tree was missing buds that a healthy fruit-bearing fig tree would most certainly have during that time of the season. The tree was simply taking up space, sucking up resources that other fruit-producing trees and plants could use.

Some might ask, “Why did Jesus curse the tree? Why didn’t he just move on to another tree?” Our Lord and Savior is a Master teacher, and the fig tree presented the lesson God meant us to learn. He demonstrated that there’s no tolerance for gray areas. God created the universe in such a way that it either responds to the positive force of faith or the negative force of fear and doubt; it does not respond to ambiguity. There’s no such thing as ‘maybe I believe…’ or ‘I believe a little bit.’ The non-producing fig tree was never going to produce fruit. It is the symbol for a person that has doubt in their hearts and refuses to trust God’s Word.

Increasing your faith
When the disciples discovered the fate of the fig tree, they marveled and asked Jesus how the tree had withered so quickly. In Matthew 21:21(NLT), Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.” It is impossible for a person to have faith and doubt at the same time. Jesus Christ tells us we must have faith and don’t doubt, because doubt is a seed-killer. It will keep faith from producing results; and therefore, it will keep a person from producing fruit and from having a fruitful life. Sometimes, we start things, but our heads and hearts are not in the right place. We don’t have a fruit-producing seed. Then we make commitments to ourselves, and when we can’t keep them, we are disappointed and some of us begin to get really down on ourselves. We attempt to produce tree-sized results on our own when our roots are not anchored in faith, because we are not rooted in the truth. Commitments to ourselves and commitments to God
Our commitments to ourselves are not always in line with our commitments to God. This is why many of us find resolutions challenging, because the root source of them isn’t based on being committed to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 15:5, Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches. He said that if we cling to him and walk in his example, we will bear much fruit, but without him, we can’t do anything. God wants us to have a great year every year. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus Christ gives us the way to begin our New Years. He tells us to seek God and His righteousness first. We’re to do this in ALL things, and God says that if we do, He will add all the blessings we earnestly desire. It is wonderful to have resolutions, but our commitment to ourselves isn’t nearly as important as the commitment we make to Heavenly Father. When we start the year with a desire to walk according to His Will and to seek it before we make any decisions, we can have confidence that God will reward our obedience and help us make every year a good one!■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Making 2019 A Great Year” written by JMack,© 2019. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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