2022 – A New Year, A Changed Life
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
New Year, new beginnings. Isn’t that how we all start every January?
Each New Year, many of us commit to making improvements in our lives. Perhaps we promise to end some things that may have been destructive or that have been holding us back. Or perhaps we will begin new things, changing the course and direction of our lives.
For some, these changes are lasting. For others, by February or March the new commitments get lost in the busyness of life and the distractions of the world.
Yet, there is one true lasting change we can make, a key to becoming a new person in 2022 that isn’t tied to external things, or behaviors, or activities. Instead, achieving lasting change starts with our relationship with the Lord.
God Longs For Us To Become More Like Him
God is always working in our lives, even when we may not see it. He is constantly shaping us, molding us every day to be more like Him and His son Jesus.
Paul writes in his letter to the church in Ephesus “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). For me, this means even before God saved us, He planned how our lives should mirror His ways. Because we are His masterpiece, God continually plants in our hearts both the desire to do His will and the ability to do what pleases Him.
God’s Promises to Us Are Never Ending
Throughout scripture, God assures His creation that His faithfulness will never wane. Consider just a few of these:
- Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, He promises us with these words: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” (Isaiah 41:10).
- In Deuteronomy 31:8, Moses tells the Israelites “Indeed, the Lord is the one who will keep on walking in front of you. He’ll be with you and won’t leave you or abandon you, so never be afraid and never be dismayed.”
- Teaching his disciples, Jesus tells them to have faith in God, promising “I tell all of you with certainty, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ if he doesn’t doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours” (Mark 11:23-24).
As Paul reminds us, we can do all things through the power and strength of God who strengthens us. His promises will not fail.
We Find the Power of God’s Promises in Our Personal Walk with Him
The most direct way to experience the abundance of God’s power is in the time we spend with Him each day, getting to know His heart and His desire for us.
In his second epistle, Peter writes “For as you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: He even shares His own glory and His own goodness with us!” (2 Peter 1:3)
By devoting time each day to understanding God’s will, listening for His voice, spending time in scripture, taking His word and making it the central theme in our lives, we find the kind of transformation against which no New Year’s resolution can ever compare. We find lasting change, truly new beginnings grounded in the power Christ’s sacrifice and God’s eternal promise to us.
Four Ways to Become Changed
It can sometimes be confusing knowing where to start in the New Year. Here are four suggestions – by no means the only ways – that I’ve used:
- Enter the New year with Thanksgiving and gratitude, as Paul instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. When we have a thankful attitude and an attitude of appreciation for God and what He does for us, it does not leave much room for ingratitude in our lives.
- Surrender everything to God. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” the apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:7. When we give our fears, our concerns, our worries, and our anxieties over to God, He restores us, making us strong and steadfast.
- Know your identity is in Christ. Scripture tells us our identity in Christ is part of accepting His gift of eternal life through faith (John 1:12). When we believe in Jesus, we lose our identity in this world and embrace our identity in Christ. Our identity in Christ is being a member of His body, the church.
- Find ways to use your natural God-given gifts. No matter who you are or where you are in your life, you have gifts and talents uniquely given by God (1 Peter 4:10). Consider donating your services to help your Church or those in need. Consider volunteering to help watch children in Sunday school. Find ways that your company can serve others in a Christ-like way. Every gift has a place in God’s kingdom and can help us transform our lives.
As you start the new year, what commitment will you make to center your life on God?
May God always guide your path.