Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hope for a New Year

So, in the week leading up to this past New Year's Eve, many people were making resolutions, as they do, of course, every year. And, of course, since Jan. 1, 2015, the number of broken resolutions has been growing steadily. This year I got a little curious about the resolutions people were making, so I went to Twitter and searched #NewYearsResolution, and, as you might imagine, a bunch of tweets came up. Most were about the standard resolution stuff—losing weight, eating healthier, stopping doing _____, travel to _____, change my life, etc.—but there were also many tweets that reflected a loss of hope for many individuals—people who have made many, many resolutions and know they never stick to them.

Now, you may not be into New Year's resolutions (like me), but when we Christians come up on mile markers in life like a new year, it's not uncommon for us to reflect on the previous year and maybe even feel a little twinge of that loss of hope—I want to change, but I never stick to it. Sometimes I think about how I'm still struggling with the same sins that plagued me a year ago or two years ago. Sometimes I wonder if I'm increasing in personal holiness and growing in the likeness of Christ at all. Now, that may be partially because I'm the kind of person who tends to focus more on the negative, and you may be a more positive thinking person. But, even so, I'd venture the guess that all of us would like to grow more in Christ and get over certain sins faster or altogether. Paul expressed the common human experience when he said, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" We know God's moral will for our lives and then we see what we're doing and how we've been doing it for a long time, and it's easy to think, "Is there any point? Is there any hope?"

Well, Ro. 4:13-25 is a passage that talks about the true hope of the gospel, even when it seems hopeless, and I had the blessing of being able to preach a sermon on that passage a couple of Sunday's ago. If you are interested in hearing more, you can listen to the sermon here or read the transcript here. I pray that it is a blessing to your soul and increases your joy in Christ.

By His Grace,

No comments: