One thing is guaranteed when you make new year’s resolutions: attached to those will be new year’s excuses. Let’s be honest with ourselves! It doesn’t mean you have to be defeated by the excuses; you can overcome them and have the victory in reaching your goals. But I am certain that temptations to quit will come. It’s human nature. It’s the weak flesh. It’s Satan’s devices. Whatever you wish to blame it on, obstacles will come.
So how do you intend to meet your goals despite certain opposition? That’s the real question to ponder as we complete another year and look toward a new year. Don’t be too hard on yourself; think back on some accomplishments you have made this year. I’m sure there were some, even if small victories. Perhaps you are feeling really bad about yourself, disappointed for not only failing to accomplish your 2016 goals but for falling deeper in a hole, whether in finances, body weight, business or career goals, relationships you hoped to repair or reignite, or other priorities you set for yourself.
I once was young and now I’m older, and here is the truth: life is a series of ups and downs, and every day you must face your challenges, whether new or old, with your head held high, eyes upon the Lord, hands folded in prayer, mind stayed on Christ and His Word, and fervor and determination to never quit trying.
Depression sets in when you feel hopeless. It is a heavy blanket that comes upon you and defeats you, and it is nothing to play around with. You have to find hope, or else Satan can use that to weigh you down and make you unprofitable. Your outlook is based on your perspective and what it is you choose to focus on, and is not bound to your circumstances, weaknesses, or feelings. The Bible says in Colossians 3:2-3: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Notice that “set” is a command. We have to determine what it is we will set our affections on, put our desires toward, and our hope in. Choose wisely. Search and find something to hope in, accomplish something, anything good no matter how small so that you can build on that good feeling of accomplishment. As long as you are heading in a good direction, you will have endurance to continue because you will be encouraged. Discouragement can take down the strongest of us, and we have to guard against it. Don’t ever fall into the trap of thinking you are strong enough to not fall into discouragement; pride comes before a fall.
Feeling sorry for yourself is a form of pride. Sometimes when we fall into the depths of despair we think we are so humble because we think so poorly of ourselves. However, we fall prey to one of Satan’s devices: selfishness and pride, focusing on our own selves, our own hurt feelings, and our own inadequacies. We can conquer these feelings by putting our thoughts on others and how we can make someone else’s life better. In our verses above it says, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Dead men don’t fret! Realize that you are already powerless in and of yourself; this is nothing new, you only thought you were invincible. The truth is that we are but dust, prone to many sins and failures. If we focus on Christ and hide in the shelter of His wings and allow Him to work through us, we will find comfort in that, peace, and confidence that we are not alone. Hope will grow through that, because we are loved, but our power, strength and victory come through the Lord Jesus Christ, not in our own strength.
Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” The chapter goes on to tell us to have the mind of Christ, a mind of humility, even as He Himself humbled Himself for us. We can do the same, following His example.
Happy New Year, and God bless you as you make your goals, consider the excuses that will be obstacles to your goals, overcome them and accomplish great things for the Lord in 2017!