As spring begins and the trees begin to recover from the winter months, the newness of life is one that can be compared to our lives once we are in Christ. Every winter the trees and plants begin to die. But soon the rain comes and the weather warms up, the plants and trees begin to blossom and come back to life.
Isn’t it hard to believe that in just a few days we’ll be entering a new decade?
In many ways, a new year is a fresh beginning. It’s a chance to set goals, create resolutions and think intentionally about life’s next chapter. As we pause and envision our ideal 2020, may we also resolve to remain mindful of God’s unwavering love for us as His children.
No matter what the year ahead may bring, we can make it a resolution to remember that the Lord is always making us new and perfecting our faith. Our identity takes on a whole new meaning when we find ourselves in Christ with each new day.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Part of a journey of faith is becoming more like Christ everyday, as we spend time with Him. Setting out into 2020, we can pause to reflect on the ways that God has grown us and hopefully anticipate the new, amazing ways he will show us more of his faithfulness to shape us into who we are called to be.
God spelled out nine characteristics in Galatians that exemplify Christ, and we can use these traits to spread His love to those around us in new ways.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
These characteristics are gifts that God develops in His children. Some of them may come more easily to us than others, but the Lord can use our prayers to develop the other traits in us over time.
Growing in the fruit of the spirit is not always simple—the path can sometimes be difficult, but with the change comes something new. God is with us every step of the way in each chapter and year of our lives. He uses the circumstances in our lives and His Word to teach us how to become more like Him.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Lord speaks to and teaches us through Scripture, and His discipline allows us to become more like Him. These actions do not bring us salvation, but rather, they bring us into a closer, sweeter relationship with God.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In this new year, let us run the race that God has set before us, whatever the path holds. When we think about our resolutions for the new year, let us also consider how we can become more like Christ with each new day. He is the author and perfecter of our faith, and we can trust Him no matter what changes come our way.
So, here’s to a new year—a year of growth, faith, love and perseverance! How will you make 2020 the best year yet?