At the start of every year, it's tempting to pursue a new goal towards self-improvement. But the challenges we typically take on are really saying, “if I can change enough, my life will be better.” And while desiring improvement is a great frame of mind, more of ourselves won’t bring about the kind of change we need.
Are we enough? The answer is a bit of a paradox. Plenty of days, we don’t feel like we are - we make mistakes with our families and at work. Our words and actions don’t always align with what we know is right. But God’s grace, power, and purpose are completely transforming.
If you’ve ever felt hopeless, like there was no way out and no proof that anything would change, surrounded by enemies - you’re not alone. In scripture, we have countless examples of God working miracles amid tragic circumstances. The key is placing trust in God. It’s listening for His voice and following through, no matter how counterintuitive the direction seems.
Small things can make a big difference. A smile. A “thank you.” The final piece to a puzzle. Sometimes the absence of that little thing is detrimental. Be encouraged; maybe the thing you need this year is something really little, like small faith, placed in a really big God.
Life pulls us in so many directions. There's no shortage of voices, opinions, and expectations. In all the noise, it can be hard to pinpoint what’s really important. But if we slow down, quiet down, and listen for God, we find He is not only with us, but speaking to us too.
Resistance makes life harder. It can come from friends, parents, peers, and employers, and it starts before we even take our first steps in the right direction. Giving into cynicism is choosing defeat. But we can learn how to turn down those critical voices and resist the resisters.
We tend to be our own biggest resister when we hold ourselves up to unrealistic expectations. But growth is not linear; it’s messy. Without God’s grace, we blame ourselves for the mess and miss out. Let’s take a deeper look at the key to spiritual growth.
We tend to think more money, a new job, or a different relationship is the key to happiness. That adding or subtracting the right elements will equal contentment. Read “everything would be perfect if only...” But contentment is not math or found in a greener pasture. It’s a state of being.
It’s the age-old question: Why am I here? The longer it goes unanswered, the more restless we become. Our souls get agitated; we look for a scapegoat and finally settle in defeat. But take heart because there is an answer. Discovering it is a journey. Knowing your “why” leads to fulfillment essential to your world.