My husband doesn’t make New Year’s Resolutions per se. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t.
But I found a worthy, faith-building New Year’s resolution in reading the surrounding verses of the verses-of-the-day on my two Bible apps: removing from my line of sight reminders of times when things were painful with my prodigals, and instead putting out visible reminders of promises and raindrops (evidence of answered prayer).
Let’s start with the verses-of-the-day:
- “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19 NKJV).
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).
The surrounding verses that brought about the resolution?
- “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old” (Isaiah 43:18) NKJV).
- “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).
Do you have objects that remind you of painful times? The life of loving and praying for a prodigal is sometimes quite difficult and extremely painful, and during holidays and family times pictures are taken, gifts are given, memories are made. And because you love that prodigal, pictures are framed, gifts are used or displayed, and memories are ruminated. Every time you look at that picture you remember the fact that she was drunk, or that he was altered by a drug, or that she had stayed out all night, or that a fight occurred after dinner. Every time you look at a gift, you remember he bought it while he was homeless, that she had to be reminded by your spouse to buy a card, that he almost didn’t make it to the family gathering. And the memories flood in, only to be mulled over and over with regret and pain.
So instead of objects and pictures with bad memories, replace them with objects that remind you of good times, perhaps times when God had given you a promise that you are expecting to be fulfilled. Replace them with baby pictures if you have to.
And surround yourself with promises. When I read the surrounding verses of Proverbs 3, verse 3 caught my attention. How do I keep mercy from forsaking me? How do I keep truth from forsaking me? The Bible tells me how: bind them around my neck and write them on the tablet of my heart (Proverbs 3:3). How do I do that? Hang Bible promises on the bathroom mirror or walls so I can memorize them. Put crosses on my desk to remind me of God’s provision for salvation. Put out pictures that remind me of the faithfulness of God to my family.
This sounds like a New Year’s resolution that will build faith, help us to rest in God’s promises, and pray effective prayers for the salvation of our prodigals. This is a resolution worth resolving! Happy New Year!
(By the way, there are some wonderful promises in other parts of Isaiah 43.)