Even When...

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Can we be honest for a moment? How’s it going? Maybe you started this new year hopeful, expectant, and with a list of resolutions for “new year new you.” But maybe like me, you might start strong, but you don’t always follow through like you planned. Maybe life has come at you a little faster than you thought, and you already feel yourself slipping into old habits and patterns. So, what do you do ​even when you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolution. ​How do you make the choice to keep going and endure despite obstacles and failures? 


I remember a time my husband and I were wanting to eat healthier. We made a plan, bought the right groceries, and committed to our new lifestyle. However, I have a soft spot in my heart for double chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting . . . and before I knew it, I bailed on my resolution. But not only that, soon what was a cheat moment became a cheat meal, which grew to a cheat day, which . . . well, spiraled a little out of control. 


Have you ever been there? And as small as eating a cupcake may sound, I wonder how often we do this in other areas of our life. Maybe for you it was skipping a workout, snoozing your alarm, redownloading that app, choosing to gossip with that friend, skipping church just once. Maybe you’ve already broken your commitment or resolution, but don’t let a moment of compromise become a lifestyle of complacency! In Hebrews 12 we are urged to “run with endurance the race God has set before us” so that we “won’t become weary and give up.” 


If you are feeling weary, I believe you first need to ​silence the critic​. Too often I’ve let my own discouragement and failures determine my actions. If you are feeling this way, remember what Hebrews 12 says “let us strip off every weight that slows us down.” So what voices are weighing you down and keeping you stuck in guilt? Silence your inner critic, and surround yourself with encouraging people. 


Next, ​set the course​. If you’ve fallen off track with your goals and resolution, take time to refocus today. Often if I get behind, I abandon something entirely. Instead, let’s be resilient people who are willing to remind ourselves WHY and WHAT we are fighting for. Hebrews 12 reminds us, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus.” Set the course by keeping your eyes on Jesus. Take some extra time to pray about your goals and your motivation, and ask Jesus to keep your focus on the course. 


Lastly, even when ​you've already broken your New Year's resolution, ​search the cross.​ Jesus set the ultimate example for us of what endurance in the face of discouragement and resistance looks like. We have so much we can learn from his example of self-sacrifice and refusing to give up. Today, take time to search the cross and remember Jesus's boldness. How can you live a life on mission to love people and find joy in the trials? 


Even when you've already broken your New Year's resolution​, you still have a new day. Remember this, “​His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 Today is a new day. How can you start again?