The new year can be an exciting time to set goals and dream big. But sometimes, it can be hard to believe that our hopes are worthwhile, or that we can do the challenging things we set out to do.
Faith comes in handy when I am struggling to believe I have what it takes to fulfill my New Year’s resolutions. I may not be able to accomplish some of my goals on my own steam. But when I remember I have God’s help during tough times, it can feel a lot less overwhelming to keep going.
Faith is a sureness or certainty in what you believe, even if you can’t see every outcome or prove everything with evidence. Faith means believing in God's faithfulness and promises even when you everything in your life is not going right.
Whether you are a new believer or have a lifelong relationship with God, I hope these verses encourage you to start the new year with faith and hope as you commit to growing and learning.
“I Can Do All This”
In his letter to the church in Philippi, the apostle Paul wrote:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
- Phil. 4:12-13
Everything can seem new and fresh at the beginning of the year, but real struggles will happen. And it comforts me to know that I will be able to find contentment and strength to keep moving forward with God’s help, even when things get tough.
“Plans to Give You a Hope”
Often the struggles and trauma we have to overcome means that our goals are deeper, and the struggle to accomplish them more difficult. We might have to wrestle with painful truths, let go of harmful habits or addictions, or end a toxic relationship. Luckily, God is with us:
“‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come to pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
- Jer. 29:11-13
These words were spoken at a time when Israel was desperate and suffering, and God kept His promise to them. If your goals for the year will be challenging, prayer is powerful, and can help you find the strength to keep going.
“All These Things Will Be Given to You”
Sometimes, I worry about where to put my focus when it comes to accomplishing my goals for the new year. Sometimes, my goals relate to my relationships. I might have some things I really need to improve in my work. Or maybe I’m neglecting the self-care I need to meet my emotional needs.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
- Matt. 6:33-35
Jesus teaches me that, even though I will pursue many important things in life, I should never lose my focus on God or my dedication to my faith. When I make that priority, I realize that God takes care of me. Even if I don’t get everything I want, I am able to have what I need to grow and find contentment.
If you’ve been looking for support to accomplish your goals, need encouragement in your faith, or just want to start the new year off more hopeful, TheHopeLine can help. Talk to a HopeCoach when you need extra encouragement or explore our podcasts and resources. We are here to support you and we’re praying for you to have a happy, healthy new year.
Sometimes we make choices in life that we wonder, does God forgive me? For help with these feelings read my blog, Does God Forgive Everything?