A Fresh Heart

Are you embracing the new year? We all like the idea of a fresh start, a chance for a clean slate but sometimes in life that is practically impossible. For many of us, last year’s problems followed us into the new year. It’s hard to get a fresh start if you are still dealing with the same old stuff.

You may have an aging parent or be the caregiver for ailing family member. You may be facing health issues yourself. You may be dealing with a wayward child that hasn’t seen the light, yet. You may be in the middle of grief over losing a loved one. You may have financial problems that didn’t go away just because the date changed. You may have unfinished projects looming over you that you have to get finished before you can have a new start.

Continual problems like these leave us feeling weak and weary. When we are feeling this way, it is very easy to give into self-pity and depression. The Apostle Paul knew something about that. He called his problem a thorn in the flesh. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul said that he had asked the Lord to remove this difficulty from his life three times. God chose not to remove his thorn but instead replied to him by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you: for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God had made his choice, now Paul had a choice to make. He could accept the grace and power that God promised him, or he could try to operate in his own strength. Paul made the right choice. “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

So, if this is the situation that you find yourself in at the beginning of the new year. I hope you will choose to believe that his grace is sufficient. Our part is to just let God be God in our otherwise impossible circumstances. We just to have to commit to being faithful to whatever role God has called us. We have to keep showing up in the lives of those we love. We have to keep praying for God to change the things that we have no control over. We have to keep plugging away at those things that overshadow our new start. We have to seek godly wisdom for those things that we don’t know how to handle on our own.

We may not have got a fresh start on New Year’s Day, but we can have a fresh heart. We can have hope because we have a big God who loves us and will never leave us. Our problems may be continuous but so is our God. He is faithful to carry through what he promised.

Be encouraged today. Hope lives because our Great God lives. Happy New Year or Happy New Heart!

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10-12)

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Sue Potts

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