“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Here we are again: the dawning of a New Year.
In light of that, I’m sure there are a good many of us taking stock in some measure of what this year held, where we’re at right now, and what’s to come (or what we hope to come) in the days and months ahead of us.
This process of—well, processing—has ebbed and flowed for me over the years. Sometimes I walk into January brimming with expectancy and motivation, my goals before me like prizes I can’t wait to achieve. But sometimes I look ahead to the fresh calendar with a discouraged and heavy heart, not ready to tackle the to-do’s (even the normal to-do’s) that feel more like a looming obstacle than an exciting challenge.
This year I find myself rather in-between these two places. I have an accomplishment desire or two that keep a flicker of excitement burning in me, propelling me forward in the small steps that will, Lord willing, help me get to the destination. But I’m also keenly aware of my inadequacy. My ongoing health journey and all the ways I still need much growth can sometimes cause a sense of “stuck-ness” in considering any sort of progress.
However, in the midst of all these thoughts about the coming year, I continue to come back to this reality: Jesus will never change. He need not change, because He is—and always has been—“perfect in power, in love and purity.” And it’s from this place that I find the grace to help me in my need. Because He is unfailingly Faithful and True, my soul can find endless strength as I rest in His sufficiency. I must continue to change—to be sanctified and matured in many ways. But it’s not me who I rely on for that change: it’s Jesus. Every ounce of obedience on my part is fueled by His indwelling Spirit. To quote the words of another beloved hymn, His “grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
Our Lord sees the beginning from the end. He knows how He wants to grow and equip us this coming year. All we need to do is keep our eyes on Him, and “keep in step with the Spirit” one moment at a time. Our motivation will wax and wane, but His grace will not. He’s never failed us before, and He certainly won’t fail us in 2024. I choose to rejoice in that today.
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