My 2021 New Year’s Resolution
By December 31, Paul Tripp Ministries needs to raise $305,000. This will enable us to continue to produce free resources like Wednesday’s Word that connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life. We are 49% of the way there! If readers like you respond to that need, we are confident that God will provide the money needed to fund the work of this ministry. So please, consider partnering with us by making a year-end donation right now.
I have to admit from the beginning: I don’t always buy the hype of a New Year’s resolution.
Change is absolutely important. Resolve is essential, particularly for people who live by faith, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Taking steps to improve your lifestyle is a wise and Biblical process.
I would never discourage you from making a New Year’s resolution, but for the Christian who finds their hope in the person and work of Jesus Christ, change doesn’t take place in big, dramatic moments.
The transforming work of grace operates in 10,000 little moments of life more than it does in a series of two or three life-altering events. The quality of your life and the character of your heart is primarily shaped and defined by the 10,000 little decisions, desires, words, and actions you make every day.
So whether it’s the morning of January 1, 2021, or any other day in the calendar, take advantage of God’s mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23) and make this commitment with me: I resolve to meditate on the promise of eternity more today than yesterday.
The gift of eternal life is not just a future promise that we wait for longingly and anxiously, like children who can’t sleep the night before Christmas, hoping to receive the presents on their list the next morning.
The promise of eternal life, and explicitly meditating and acting on that promise, restores our ability to live abundantly today, with our gaze set towards heaven.
If you meditate on the promise of eternity, you won’t load life on your shoulders, hoping to exercise enough control over people and situations to make things work out okay. Instead, we live with the peace of knowing that a God of wisdom, power, and grace has already written the final chapter of our story.
If God has written the final chapter of our story, you know he will meet all your needs. Our living hope is “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:4-5)
Freed from anxiety, the promise of eternity liberates us from relationships that are dominated by self-interest. This frees us to give ourselves to love and serve the people in our lives.
Meditating on the promise of eternity also tells us what we should be investing our resources in. We don’t allow the principal purpose of our finances and time to be the amassing of earthbound treasures. We don’t expend our wealth and energy on things that will quickly break, grow old, get stolen, decay, or otherwise pass away (Matthew 6:19).
Meditating on the promise of eternal life changes the way we suffer. If I know that this is not all there is, that God is moving me toward my final destination, then I know that this moment of pain is temporary. Paul says it is “light and momentary” (2 Corinthians 4:17) compared to the eternal life I will experience. Living in light of eternity doesn’t remove my pain, but it allows me to have hope in my moments of distress.
Finally, the gift of forever frees us to approach life with joy. No, not superficial happiness because people around me like me or because my life is comfortable and predictable, but unshakeable confidence because God has lavished the best of gifts: the gift of eternal life.
That’s my resolution for today. Grace has given me present provision and future hope, so I can live with gladness even when my life is confusing and challenging.
Will you join me, and the host of saints before us?
Paul David Tripp
Thank you for your love, encouragement, and support during a challenging 2020! You would be an answer to our prayers if you made a tax-deductible donation before December 31.
1. What is something that the Holy Spirit has been convicting you of that needs to change in your life? Are you trying to justify this conviction in any way?
2. How can you take the first step, or another step, in 10,000 little steps towards change? Is something stopping you from taking that first step right now?
3. Have you taken advantage of the body of Christ to help with your process of change? Who can you reach out to and share with vulnerability?
4. What has hindered you from sharing weakness and failure in the past with others? Are you currently living in hiding, guilt, or shame?
5. How can you be a better steward of your God-given resources, time, and gifts in 2021? How should eternity shape your investments in the coming year?
6. How should meditating on the promise of eternity change the way you interact with neighbors, friends, co-workers, and family who don’t yet know the Lord? What’s holding you back from a lifestyle of evangelism?
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