As I write this is the seventh day of the first month of the New Year, just wondering how many of your resolutions have kept this week? I plead the fifth! Just because you haven’t kept them, doesn’t mean that you have to quit! Quitting means you will never get it done! Look at your life, your surroundings, are you where you had hoped to be at this stage of your life? I was thinking about myself and feeling disappointed that some things I really felt I had been called to do, have not materialized, as I had hoped they would. As I mulled this thought over, a louder thought came through, Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul. Another translation says it this way: He renews my strength. So I looked at a couple of examples from the Bible.
First there is Moses. You know his story, destined to be killed when he was born he was saved, and then ended up in the backside of nowhere tending his father-in-laws herds! When he was eighty years old, God spoke to him from the burning bush and his life took on a whole new meaning! He went back to Egypt, freed his people from slavery and led them to the gates of the Promised Land! Joseph, who as a boy had dreams of grandeur, seeing himself as a ruler, found himself forgotten in prison for something he didn’t do, until he had the chance to interpret a dream for the King, he became second in command to the King and was able to save his own family from starvation.
Samson, who had led his people as Judge for over 20 years, ended up blinded and pushing a grinding wheel like a mule, being made the brunt of all the jokes. God returned his strength to him, restored his soul and allowed him to be the weapon that would destroy thousands of Philistines as the final act of his life. Lamentations 3:22-23 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Does He really care about what happens to us? He answers prayer and gives me solutions to problems I can’t solve! Does He have a plan for our life? Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Did you read that? He has plans for us, to give us a future and a hope!
Think about Jonah ending up in the belly of the great fish, why? Because he was being disobedient to the plan of God! He repented, from the depths of hell, Jonah 2:9 When my life was slipping away, I remembered God, and my prayer got through to you, made it all the way to your Holy Temple. Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds, walk away from their only true love. But I’m worshiping you, God, calling out in thanksgiving! And I’ll do what I promised I’d do! Salvation belongs to God!” When Jonah prayed, God made that fish taxi him all the way to the very place he had been told to go and spit him out on the shore! He kept his promise to preach to the people, and they repented! Is there a promise that you haven’t kept? Ecclesiastes 5:6 Don’t let your mouth make a total sinner of you. When called to account, you won’t get by with “Sorry, I didn’t mean it.” Why risk provoking God to angry retaliation?
Want to change your life? God is on your side and He has a plan for you. Psalm 19:11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise how will we find our way? Or know when we play the fool? Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar. Don’t be a quitter, just start over!