The arrival of a new year brings a chance for fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s the time when we make resolutions for the coming year. We think this year will be different. We feel excited about planning new goals.
However, in January, we wake up with the same old struggles we had the year before. For many of us, myself included, we find the new year quickly becomes a continuation of the old. We don’t wake up not craving junk food or soda just because it’s a new year. We don’t suddenly want to crawl out of bed in the morning to head to the gym when its bitter cold outside. We may not feel the urge to tackle our to-do list of goals just because it’s the new year.
Setting goals at the start of a new year has never worked for me, and I feel making resolutions isn’t for everyone. I feel they can be especially detrimental to those, myself included, who tend to be creative by nature. I prefer to follow my heart, or I guess you could say fly by the seat of my pants! As soon as I’m faced with a list of resolutions, I feel like a bird in a cage and my creativity is snuffed out.
Writers are taught to set goals all the time, but I find my most productive writing days are the days when I’m walking through the woods, sitting by the pond, or when I’m watching the snow fall outside my home office window or listening to the rain falling on the roof. It’s in those moments I feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit and the words flow. And nothing inspires me like time spent reading scripture. God’s word is alive and active. It empowers me more than any to-do list or new years resolution.
I commend those who make resolutions and follow through to achieve them, but it’s not for me. I’m older now. I have chronic health issues. I’m an empty nester and a widow. I’ve lost a lot of loved ones in the previous years, and I’m more aware of how short life truly is. I don’t want to waste one moment being someone I’m not. I don’t have the energy to make resolutions and beat myself up when I don’t keep them.
What I have found to be life changing is choosing a verse of scripture to focus on at the start of each new year. This has been an incredible blessing in my life. I select a verse of scripture that deals with something I’m struggling with. I highlight the verse and date it in my Bible. I make a copy of the verse to put on my inspiration board that hangs in my home office. I memorize the verse and read it at the start of my quiet time each day, and I reflect on it as I go about my daily routine.
Isaiah 40: 31 is my life verse for 2018.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I selected this verse because I need strength more than anything this year. I’ve grown weary from the unrelenting health issues I’ve been dealing with the past six months. I’ve struggled with major depression and discouragement as a result of losing my dad and husband so close together
One little verse of scripture can make a huge difference in your life. Scripture is living and active. It can bring about transformation that you never thought possible. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar or spend hours a day studying the word of God to get something out of it.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ( Hebrews 4: 12)
The Bible will change your life one verse at a time. I love the simplicity of focusing on one specific verse for the year. No pressure. No lists. No feeling overwhelmed. Just the simple beauty of God’s active and living word. The precious word that has the power to transform the heart of each and every person. God’s amazing word is filled with promises we can trust in a world where truth and honesty no longer seem to matter.
New Years resolutions often fade away and are soon forgotten, but the word of God is everlasting. For that reason, I resolve to focus on scripture again this year rather than a to-do list.
The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8)
What are you struggling with as the new year begins? Search for a verse of scripture that relates to your struggle and claim it as a promise for 2018. Resolve to make God’s word a part of your life this year and watch the power of scripture transform your life in ways you never thought possible.