Sunday, January 3, 2021

Becoming Renewed in the New Year

Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

On the last day of 2020 I finished the last page of my devotional journal. In year's past, wanting to begin the new year with a fresh, unblemished journal, I've tucked the old one away with some unused pages. It felt serendipitous to have filled up every last page of my 2020 journal before beginning my new one on the first day of the new year. As always, I begin with high hopes that my new journal's pages will be neater and tidier than the previous year's, but before many days go by I realize that the wee hours of the morning when I have my morning devotions aren't conducive to my best handwriting and error free sentences. Real life with its imperfections and mistakes are evident right there on the written page.

My attitudes about myself can be similar to my attitudes about my journal. I want to close the door on the old year and begin the new year fresh and clean. I want to eat right, exercise, be better, do better ... I want to be the best me, a new me, in the brand new year. But then, sometimes even before New Year's Day is over, I realize that I'm still the same old me with all of my mistakes and imperfections and inordinate affection for white cheddar popcorn. Like that first scratched out word on the fresh white pages of my new journal, I've already messed up in this brand spankin' new year. It can be discouraging.

However, I am learning that God wastes nothing in my life if I surrender it to Him, even my mistakes and imperfections. Am I learning and growing and changing? Yes, I am. Do I still stumble? Yes, I do. But God is in the renewing business and I am His work in progress. I can either help that progress by my cooperation and surrender or hinder it by my resistance and stubbornness. The only thing that can stop me from becoming renewed is me, because God is in the renewing business. I've come to realize that it's a lot less about me being better and doing better and a lot more about me yielding to God's work within me more. "I surrender to Your work in me today, Lord." " Lord, change me." "Have Your way in me." "Renew me." These simple prayers begin my days and are the guiding focus of my new year. Instead of the hopeless feeling of failing at another year's resolutions, I am hope filled because I have confidence, not in my ability to change, but in His ability to change me. I am His workmanship, and so are you. And that is a beautiful thing to hold onto as we begin this new year.


  1. Elizabeth, may we look forward to, and grab hold of, all that He has for us in this New Year! Blessings!


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