By: Ian Gilliam
A New Year is upon us. Many of us have set new goals to eat healthier, improve our education, exercise more or even find a new job. There is something appealing about resetting the calendar to 1/1 that makes us aware of changes we would like to see in our surroundings and in ourselves. Even with our best intentions we often find that in just a few days after setting our new goals we have met a delay or an obstacle that puts an end to the newness of the year.
The cycle of year after year making and then falling short of resolutions takes its toll on us. We eventually stop making them or perhaps even become cynical of anyone who makes them. Perhaps our approach to changing is wrong.
In Psalm 33:3, David says, “sing a new song to Him: play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.” I don’t think David means to compose a new song that has never been heard before. I think his focus is on our heart. Since we receive new mercies of God every day, our praise and worship of God should be fresh. We should seek the joy that comes with the mercy of God.
This may seem like a difficult task at times. We wake up and view the day ahead with dismay and dread due to the current circumstances we will face. The calendar is far from 1/1 and the sense of newness is gone. Hebrews 10:24-25 answers this dilemma saying, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” The writer explains that God has given us each other for encouragement during those times when the newness seems to have faded away.
To align with scripture, we have set up Journey Groups as a means of creating the Christ-centered community spoken of in Hebrews. Weekly, these groups meet together to create relationships that are founded on gospel conversations and how they apply to what we are going through in life. Ultimately, it leads to encouragement to sing a new song to God daily.
Whether or not you are able to lose those few extra pounds or complete that new photography class, I encourage you with scripture to find a Christ-centered community that will encourage you with scripture to approach each day singing a new song to God.
(originally published in the January/February 2016 edition of Road Signs)