People are eternally hopeful and optimistic, even the coldest, hardest people we know carries hope deep in their heart.
God created us this way. God deposited it in our hearts when He made us. If we had no hope, then we probably never would have invited Jesus to be our savior. We would have thought, “What’s the point? I’m a lost cause anyway.”
After we get saved we find the source of that hope. Jesus Christ living in us is our hope.
“ To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,” (Colossians 1:27).
Sometimes we let that hope grow cold within us.
This is what we call a hard heart. We harden ourselves to God’s plan for our lives because we believe it will never happen. However, the New Year tends to awaken hope in our hearts. We soften ourselves to the idea of change and improvement. This is why we make New Year’s Resolutions.
We want to lose weight, read our Bible, pray in the mornings, speak kindly to our spouses, get our finances in order, etc. We see the areas we want and need to improve and we use the New Year as our starting point.
There is nothing wrong with this and God can and will use our New Year’s Resolutions to help us create lasting change in our lives. However, the problem we face is actually involving God in our Resolutions.
The reason we often give up on our Resolutions is because we try to make them happen on our own.
Our self-effort will never be enough to create real change and when we face difficulty in achieving our goals we give up, thinking, “I guess it wasn’t meant to be.” We quit on our Resolutions because we give up. We return to our hardened heart and wait for next year. We become prisoners of our own negative mindsets and we stagnate in complacency.
God’s Word teaches us something completely different.
“Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you,” (Zechariah 9:12).
We are to purposefully make ourselves prisoners of hope. We have to resolve to stay in and live lives of hope. There is a key step in doing this though; we must return to the stronghold. What is the stronghold? It’s Jesus Christ.
Our Resolutions fail because when we face hardship we return to our hardened heart thinking that change is impossible.
We will begin to succeed and see the victory of God if instead of returning to our hardened heart, we return to the stronghold of hope, Jesus Christ.
Keeping ourselves in the hope of Jesus Christ is the key to real change. Hope will keep our eyes fixed on the good future our Father has planned for us and will also give us the endurance to run our race.