You know, that New Year’s resolution that you wanted to start? This is the time of year, studies suggest that, 40-60% of people fail at their resolutions after just one month.
This is a really good thing! Why? Because you were brave enough to start. You took a risk and you put yourself out there. I generally don’t make New Year's resolutions. I have heard that they “don’t work” so instead of risking failure, I don’t start. Seems like the safe thing to do right? However, for everyone who started something, regardless of the result, you have already done so well.
One study found that 21% of people said they resolved to “get happier”. We know that the most important and impactful action that you can take is focusing on your relationship with God. Being closer to Jesus, staying focused on him, and living by his word, will have a trickledown effect into every area of life: Physical health, emotional health, mental health, relationships, balanced priorities, job stress, financial peace, and even adding some adventure in your life!
The story of when Peter walks on water comes to mind. It’s late and dark. The twelve disciples are on a boat. It’s windy. Jesus comes to them. He’s walking on the water. They cry out “A ghost!”, but Jesus tells them to not be afraid. Peter says to Jesus “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus tells him to come. Peter gets out of the boat and walks towards Jesus – on the water! Incredible. But then he fails. He turns his eyes to the waves, becomes afraid, and begins to sink. He took his eyes off of Jesus and had to be rescued. “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” This moment in Matthew 14 is a great reminder that we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Following him will lead to us experiencing more in life. But to follow Jesus takes faith. Sometimes the courage to step out of your comfort zone is what is going to get you out of your rut of complacency when it comes to your journey of faith.
Being a Christian involves every aspect of your life. Your friendships, neighbours, job, health, education, relationships, time – everything. Wherever you are at on your journey of faith, consider what a more vibrant walk with God would look like? What do you need to do to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? What do you need to do differently to better love your neighbour? What is holding you back from sharing the Gospel with those around you? Is it fear? Fear of failure? Fear of being uncomfortable? Whatever it is, I’d love to encourage you today to just take the next step in faith. Pray more. Read more. Love more. Whatever God has prepared for you to do next in our faith journey. Step out of the boat. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and even if you struggle, Jesus has got you, and what you see as failure, is not failure. Because I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be Peter, than one of the others just sitt