I always start the year off with a ton of goals & resolutions. And 2019 was no different.
• Going to lose 20 lbs
• Read my Bible every single day
• Memorize 100 verses
• Read 20 books
• Don't waste as much time on my phone
• Be a better listener
You get it.
And every year, right around December 26th, it all starts to set in.
I didn't do anything I set out to.
I mean I did some of it, sort of.
But not like I hoped I would.
2019 has come & gone and I failed.
Pretty miserably actually.
So usually what I do, is plan really hard for the next year.
"Ok, I didn't do it all this year, but NEXT year is going to better...."
And I make a huge list of things I want to do. Things I am GOING to do!
"This year will be different!" I yell at myself.
Man, it gets so exhausting.
But the reality is this: I am so stinking wrong.
My hope isn't in a "successful" year, my hope is Jesus.
Our hope is not in what we have accomplished.
Our hope is in what Jesus accomplished.
The picture above is a painting of a parable Jesus tells the crowd in Luke 18.
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.
-- Luke 18:9-14
I think we forget, or at least I do, that this whole following Jesus thing is a daily reminder that I am never not going to be a failure.
I am always going to fail.
It doesn't mean I don't set goals or set out to be reading the Bible.
I am not saying that.
I just need to remind myself (and maybe you too) that we do not grade our year based on our successes or our failures. We grade our year on Him.
You might have had really high hopes for 2019, but didn't reach what you were hoping to in your walk with Jesus. Maybe you hoped to read your Bible more, or pray more, or care more, or wake up earlier, or whatever...
Maybe you feel like this tax collector in Luke 18, afraid to even look at Jesus with all the failures of 2019.
Go to Jesus, humbled over your missed goals, and all your sins of 2019. He will have mercy on you.
Come to Him He has enough mercy for us.
He has enough mercy for 2019 and all it's failures.
Let's go into a new year remembering that this walk with Jesus is a daily trusting in, hoping in, resting in His all encompassing loving mercy & grace. Not in our successes or our failures or our dreams or our goals.
It's all in Him.
And here is the crazy secret: When we truly get this, when we truly live in His arms of grace, then and only then will we see progress in our spiritual life.
It doesn't come by us trying harder.
It comes only by grace.
Rest easy dear brother or sister, it comes only by His grace.
Take a big deep breath of His grace and look to 2020 with hope knowing that He is good to those who trust in Him.
He has mercy on the humble broken sinner.
Sign up below & we can send it to you directly!