“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.” Psalm 143:5-6
It doesn’t take long for the joy of Christmas to turn to thoughts of the New Year. For some, these thoughts bring hope; but for others, they bring anxiety. As the calendar flips to January, there are responsibilities to resume after the much-needed Christmas break. It is time to make (and hopefully keep) resolutions, quit procrastinating, and get busy. As we wave goodbye to 2017 and start new in 2018, we must remember that it is only God who can give us the strength, hope and purpose that we need.
Regardless of the individual circumstances of our lives, most of us desire to make changes in 2018. As followers of Jesus, we should always resolve to go deeper in our relationship with Him…to serve others more selflessly, dig into His Word more diligently, give more sacrificially, pray more intentionally, and share the Gospel more passionately. Beyond this, there are likely personal goals related to relationships, health, finances, or education and career. While none of these are bad things – and it is wise to set personal goals – we must remember that we cannot hide our fears and uncertainties behind fad diets and gym memberships, degrees or titles. We must continually go to the only source of true satisfaction – Jesus Christ.
When King David faced opposition from outside and anxiety from within, He let that drive Him to God. He came before God thirsty and empty, exposed in all of his human weakness. Instead of making a plan of how he would better his situation, King David just ran to God, remembering all He had done in the past and trusting Him for help in the future. Instead of looking to his own strength, He trusted in the One who had proven faithful so many times before.
The key to godly success and lasting joy is not in our own abilities and effort, but rather in learning to live in complete surrender and dependence on God. May we, like King David, believe that our only hope is Christ. He is the source of our strength. He is the reason for our joy. He is bigger than our circumstances. And He is worthy of our praise.
God, help me to run to You before I run to anything or anyone else. When I feel overwhelmed or anxious, remind me of Your continual presence through the Holy Spirit. Amen.