A Better Way in 2018

TV networks are looking back at the top stories of 2017. While the top story of my life or yours’ in 2017 didn’t make the national or local news we know what it was. Perhaps it was an event, an encouraging word, a memory, a celebration, a disappointing loss, or a lesson learned?  Maybe you learned more about your limitations and in the midst of it you became more aware of God’s gracious provision.

The New Year provides an opportunity for pause
This time of year many look back by getting out their mental calculators keeping score of their victories and losses. Most of us hope this year will be better than last. Others approach the New Year with mixed emotions hesitant to let go of the past. Others make overly optimistic and unrealistic plans of how their New Year will look.

Some believe that a good intention means a new beginning, that on their own they can make a new start whenever they want. That would be nice if it was that easy.

What treadmill are you on?
Change is inevitable, but what kind of change? Maybe we need to look at the treadmills we’ve been on? Do we need to change our perspective from ‘this is the way things ought to be according to me?’ Or, look at how we measure success or how we control people and circumstances or maybe it’s living for the approval of others.

These treadmills don’t just distract us from a satisfied life they can consume us
These perspectives can unknowingly trap and rule us. They can suck the energy right out of us and leave us utterly empty. It’s not easy to let go of all the mental stuff we insist we need for our tomorrows along with all the stuff we continue to haul with us from our yesterdays.

One thing that we can all count on this New Year is change

Some changes we gladly choose and others we don’t. Yet, more often than not, despite our high hopes and best efforts we fail to change in the ways God desires. We can’t just grit our teeth and force ourselves to act with compassion. It’s not about trying harder on our own.

Jesus isn’t at all interested in our being changed into people who simply become nicer and more agreeable. God does not ask us to accommodate Him, but to live for Him.

He has something far more different in mind for us this New Year. God can change your life story this New Year. There is a better way.

Live for what matters to God
All of us who have attempted change and failed know if this year is going to be any different we need a new approach. Becoming what God desires of us is not a quick fix formula. It’s a heart change.

There are certainly things we cannot change, but there are changes we can make that can leave a lasting impact in other people’s lives if we choose to live for what matters to God. God has been changing hearts and minds of people and nations for thousands of years and He desires to change yours’ and mine too.

Here’s the deal: God significantly changes our lives when our grateful heart’s cry is, “Not my will, but thy will be done. What do you want me to do for You Lord?”  And that will be enough.

The God that changes not, changes everything!
Be grateful that His love for you and I will never change! That’s one thing we can count on today and every day!

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. Psalm 26:3; 33:22