The New Year brings with it the sense that anything is possible. We’ve got a blank calendar, and we’re convinced that this will be the year we fill it up with the life we’ve always hoped for. That surge of hope and optimism is a good thing! This year really could be our year. Transformation is possible, but we need the right tool for the job.
No diet can do it.
Neither can adorable new workout clothes.
Your resolutions likely won’t change you. (More than 90 percent of resolutions fail.)
So what will?
What’s the secret to successful change in the year ahead? Simply this—consistently running toward the Word of God.
Here are three things the Word of God can do uniquely.
God’s Word Lifts Our Eyes (And Keeps Them Up!)
It’s true a good run can give us a temporary runner’s high. So can finishing a great book you’ve been wanting to read or learning a new hobby. But God’s Word is uniquely able to lift our eyes from ourselves and our struggles and keep them superglued to the things that matter most.
Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the Bible (longer than several entire books of the Bible!), and it’s dedicated to describing the wonders of God’s Word. Here are a few of them:
- God’s Word gives us joy (v. 16).
- God’s Word nourishes dry souls (v. 25).
- God’s Word gives hope (v. 49).
- God’s Word comforts us in times of trouble (v. 50).
- God’s Word eases our discouragement (v. 147).
- God’s Word gives us peace (v. 165).
The reason why so many resolutions fail is because they focus on us. We weren’t created to live our lives for ourselves but for the glory of the God who made us. The Bible reminds us of this truth over and over again.
Look into the pages of your Bible, and you will inevitably look toward the God the Bible is about.
God’s Word Helps Us Run from Sin
New Year’s resolutions put our weak willpower under a microscope. We try, and we fail. We make resolutions and don’t keep them. We want a new us but seem stuck with the old version.
God’s Word steps in where our willpower falls short. It works like a spotlight to illuminate our sin and then works in tandem with the Holy Spirit to deal with it. If you’ve got sinful habits that need kicked to the curb this year (we all do!), you need God’s Word at your fingertips.
In Psalm 119:29, the Psalmist prayed boldly, “Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!”
When we turn toward the Bible, we inevitably turn from sin. God’s Word convicts us and helps us see God’s commands with clear focus.
God’s Word Gives Us Purpose
Why do we exist? Why do we stay on this rotating planet year after year after year? What’s the point of the constant passage of time?
Those questions are enough to make anyone’s head spin, but the start of a New Year invites us to ask them anyway.
The answers aren’t found in self-help books or new habits. The answers are only found in the Bible.
Here’s a snapshot.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
“But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you” (Acts 26:16).
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6:8).
You and I will face a zillion decisions in 2018. Without a compass to guide us, we will feel like we’re perpetually lost in the wilderness. But God’s Word is our compass. It teaches us how to seek His will in every decision.
When it comes to the blessings of God’s Word, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Bible can change us in ways nothing else ever can.
Let’s say “yes” to change together this year! But let’s reach for the right tool for the job. Nothing has changed me more than God’s Word. Let’s open God’s Word together and be truly changed.