I find it easy to get swept up in the idea of what New Year’s represents: a clean slate, a new start, a chance to make things right. It’s an opportunity to start the year strong, but far too often our resolutions seem to be full of ambitious goals of self-improvement that will never succeed. What if instead of trying to start the new year strong, striving to accomplish goals we’ve set to make our lives better, we decided to start off our year by being weak?
When the apostle Paul was facing a struggle that forced him to see his own weaknesses, God told him, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul continues on describing his new outlook on his weaknesses saying, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Instead of looking to my own strength to find the willpower to make my life better, I can take Paul's view and boast in my weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings knowing that my brokenness is God’s platform for showing his power and grace in my life.
Instead of making a resolution this New Year, I simply pray to live and walk in the grace that God has shown me through Jesus Christ. I need the truth of the Gospel in my life every single day. I need to preach the Gospel to myself— not to guilt myself into obeying the Bible, not to check it off the list of things to do that day, but because the Gospel “is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). In recognizing my need for the Jesus everyday, I am able to start my day off humbly, relying on God’s grace for my strength and motivation.
Here are three practical way to start your day off weak:
- Place some verses near where you get ready each morning. Some great verses besides those already mentioned are: Ephesians 1:19-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:1-2
- Start each morning acknowledging your weaknesses— from physical aches and pains that accompany getting out of bed to the emotional or spiritual exhaustion you may be experiencing from life’s struggles and trials. Pray and invite God’s grace into these weaknesses.
- Roll out of bed and onto your knees. When we kneel before God we physically acknowledge our need for His grace in our life.
So this year let’s start our year weak— with God in His rightful place as Lord and Savior and our place as grateful recipient of His grace. Let’s pray together that God will daily strengthen us in the the truth of His Gospel and that we will in turn help others find their need for His grace in their life. Let's make 2016 count by pointing others to Jesus in our weakness.