Sometimes we give ourselves big goals then start with hope and determination, but after climbing the first steps, we realize that the climb will be much more difficult than expected. If you need strength this year, God has the solution!
Whether it’s a new diet, a workout program or a devotional in the Bible; the beginning of the year often leads us to undertake new strategies to achieve a goal. What motivates us to embark on this adventure is hope? We have an image of what we want to have or be. We have faith that our plan will enable us to achieve this image and therefore we work with determination. But when the effort that is required is harder than we thought, we can begin to doubt the plan or even lose our hope and forget our initial image.
This is exactly what happens in the spiritual realm. We need hope, the image of what we want to achieve. Then we must have faith in God’s plan to achieve this goal (Hebrews 11: 1). Through faith and hope, we are able to put in the effort into it and overcome the challenges (James 2:14). But if the effort seems too demanding, or our flesh is more dominant than our spirit, we easily lose our eternal goal (Matthew 13:20-21).
When we need to be strengthened to stay the course, what can we do? A good laugh could help you! It is written in Nehemiah 8:10 that the “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (NASB). Be joyful?! Absolutely! The Apostle Paul encouraged the Philippians to do this too. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NASB). We have many reasons to rejoice, as Christians, we should always have a smile.
Early Christians were sometimes very poor and at risk of being tortured and killed, but according to Paul, they kept the joy. “That in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality” (2 Corinthians 8:2 NASB). We can, therefore, be in “deep poverty” as the verse says and still have “abundance of joy” through the Spirit of God in us.
We can rejoice that God keeps His promises and that His plan is always perfect. We can also laugh at the lies that the enemy tries to make us believe if we do not know the Word of God well. And let’s face it, we often take ourselves way too seriously. Laughing at some of our mistakes is a balm for our heart and allows us to heal and rebound quickly. Don’t forget, a happy person is much more attractive! “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13 NASB).
Singles, this year, we are sure you would like to meet a partner (it’s your image, your hope). God has confirmed to you that it was also what He desired for you (your faith). So you just have to take the steps that God inspires you to do. And if it takes a lot of effort, choose to have fun through the process. Instead of focusing on the effort it will take for you to talk to strangers, think of all the fun you will have as you get to know new people. Instead of flogging yourself over past mistakes and being fearful of reproducing them, laugh at your past clumsiness and smile with confidence that this time, you are going hand in hand with your heavenly Father. You will see, with such an attitude, you will be strengthened and you will find it easier to put the effort into it.