I resolve to hope in God.
5 Days of Imperfect Resolutions: A Devotional for Imperfect Woman
5 Days of Imperfect Resolutions aren’t your normal New Year resolutions. They’re resolutions that are made in full consideration of life’s inevitable challenges and realities. And in case you’re already feeling a little overwhelmed here at the starting line of 2019, I think you’ll find these resolutions more encouraging than burdensome.
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Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
~ Psalm 42:5–6
Amidst the comforting warmth of lights and tinsel and the exciting blank pages of a new yearly planner, it’s easy to forget that Jesus’ birth was the answer to centuries of desperate cries from God’s people.
How long, O Lord?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
~ Psalm 13:1–2
Throughout generations of persecution and exile, the deliverance of the promised Messiah was the truth that kept God’s people from falling into utter despair. He was their hope, and he must be ours.
As optimistic as we might be on the cusp of a new year, an honest look back at the year just lived is sobering. The throbbing aches of the world intensify our own challenges and crises, and we begin to comprehend the vast expanse of all that lies outside our control in the coming year. It can be overwhelming. How will our individual and collective story read a year from now? Will we celebrate victory or mourn in sorrow? Will this new year be a chapter we read and reread in the years ahead, or will it be one we’d rather skip?
The optimism of January first is as fragile as our contrived efforts to manage and control our days and destiny. But as the familiar carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” proclaims, the promised Messiah has come.
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. . . .
Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.
Jesus has come. This is our hope, and it is anything but fragile.
We have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
~ Hebrews 6:19
As we prayerfully consider the coming days, weeks, months, and year, let’s make our plans in light of the sober joy of Christmas, the gift of each day, and the eternal hope and joy of our salvation.
I resolve to hope in God.
Your turn . . .
- In Psalm 42, the psalmist pours out his heart to God and talks to his own soul. How might doing the same thing encourage you when you’re struggling?
- Read the entire chapter of Psalm 42, and then write your own version. Be honest with God about your heartaches and praise him for the truths he brings to mind.
- What are some practical ways to keep your “Imperfect Resolutions” before you throughout the year? Maybe set a monthly reminder on your smartphone, put a sticky note on your calendar, or ask a friend to join you so you can encourage one another through the year.
In case you missed them, here’s . . .
Check back tomorrow for a few final thoughts on imperfect resolutions and a small gift to encourage you throughout the year!
Photo credit: Hilary Hyland Photography
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