Last week I wrote about my theme for 2023, “Resolved to Rejoice.” Like many of you, I started the new year with a theme to be a foundation for my behavior and thoughts. Excitedly, I moved into the first couple of days, believing this year would be great. The victories and breakthroughs I need and want are supposed to happen and happen very soon. I must admit that I thought they would happen very quickly and easily. However, I quickly find out that neither is the case.
What do you do when your resolutions appear to take time and effort? What do we need to understand? What is going to help us to stick with it?
The very first thing we need is a healthy understanding. We need to understand that for something to be a resolve, it will have to be tested.
You heard me correctly. Our goals, wants, victories, breakthroughs, etc., will only come through our resolve to achieve them, and our resolve will only be a resolve when it is tested.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.” (James 1:3)
Testing is the very thing that brings about the results you need. Without the testing, there is no need to be resolved. But we recognize (at least once a year) our need for resolve. We fail to acknowledge our need to prepare for the times when our resolution will be tested.
In my mind, I have already walked through the scene of when I get the victory that I have been praying for. What a day of rejoicing that will be. When claiming a resolution, I should have thought about what I would need to do when a big test to my resolve would come.
Resolve was made on December 31st. Resolve tested on January 9th.
Seriously a test when I am just getting started?
How am I supposed to handle this?
It is easy to say to God that I hope in you, but that hope has to be tested. When our hope is tested, we answer with trust in the providence of God.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
God is leading me. God is leading me down this path. I will not rest on my understanding. I see that He is my source.
What will this accomplish? I do not believe that acknowledging this is the end. It is only the beginning. That sometimes scares us because we think we need our victory right now. But resolve is only resolved when it is tested. I want to rejoice in the Lord. If this is to be, the case situations have to arise that require me to trust in Him.
Those situations, those tests, are designed for resolve to become resolve. Here is where it gets good; we become what we are to be through resolve.
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4)
When your hope is tested, trust in the Lord. When you trust Him and Him alone, You will move to another level. What does that level look like?
Here’s a hint: the next level–deals with the ability to stand.