5 New Year's Resolutions To Grow Your Faith
Just like that 2022 flew by and we're officially going into a new year. Doesn't it seem like every year flys by faster and faster? Because of that it's more important than ever to be intentional with our time so that we don't wake up one day realizing we flew through life numb and ignoring God's call for us. That's why this year I want to challenge you to set your goals on God and not the typical fitness or finances. Set your sights on what's important and everlasting.
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-3
There are many heavenly goals to set for our lives but I wanted to give you some ideas to start with so here are my 5 New Year's Resolutions:
1. Trust God in all Circumstances
"Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:8
How many times in our lives were we worried about something yet God provided? It could be being out of a job, a health issue, having to make a big decision, etc. This is not to preach a "prosperity gospel" where God grants us everything but a reminder that God is with us through it all. He helps us heal and move on even from hard situations.
One of my favorite ways to remember this is to keep track of my prayer requests and then date them when they've been answered. For example, last year I was out of a job and we were down to our last penny (in fact our friend even helped us pay for our groceries that week) and God came in last minute and gave me a dream job. It was a miracle and more money than I could have imagined. He helped us at the very last minute in order to test our faith in Him. Now we're in a similar situation where I'm out of a job but this time I'm not worried or scared but instead excited to see how God will work. I've learned to trust Him in all through that hardship.
This year we were also blessed with being pregnant and at one point our midwives told us our baby girl wasn't growing properly and she might not make it. It was the scariest moment of our lives but I remember a peace that came over me in that moment that was telling me to Trust God. Not to trust that He would fix it but that even if we lost this child that He is still good and His plan is better than we can imagine. We were worried but we also trusted God in that hard situation and Praise Him because it turned out to be a mistake and our baby is perfectly healthy. What a miracle!
We created this Notion Prayer Template to help you keep track of your prayer requests and answered prayers. Take a look here. It lets you add a prayer and date it (it can be a praise report or prayer request) and then you can check "Answered Prayer" when it was answered and it automatically moves down in the other category. You can also add the date of when your prayer was answered so you can easily keep track.
2. Read the Bible Daily
"But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
Just like we feed our physical bodies daily we need to feed our spirit with the word of God. There are many reasons for this but ultimately it's for us to know God and not be deceived by the "wolf in sheep's clothing." (Matthew 7:15)
Imagine what it would be like if we didn't have the bible. We'd be so lost and confused on what God wants us to do, right? We're so blessed that God gave us this gift of His everlasting word for us to learn more about Him. The bible is also given to use for becoming more like Him in righteousness and teaching others. See what 2nd Timothy has to say:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
There are many ways to study the bible from taking notes in the bible itself to taking notes in a paper notebook but I wanted to create a template that is customizable and acts like a living document because the bible itself is. How many times did you read the same passage only for it to reveal something new to you? I wanted to be able to organize my bible notes in a way that I could add or update things as I learned more. Introducing the Bible Study, a Notion template that helps you keep track of your bible notes.
With this template you can check off as you finish a book in the bible and it gives you an overview of each book including author and 1 sentence summary.
You can toggled each chapter to open up the notes section and it starts with a One Sentence Summary and then has space for you to take notes and even add references (including video ones).
3. Speak Truth (based on God's Word)
In today's world there is so much corruption and selfish desires. More than ever we hear phrases like "Speak your truth," or "do what makes you happy," when in reality anything besides God's truth is fools gold. It may seem like something that brings fulfillment but as we learn in Ecclesiastes, nothing besides knowing God can do that. Just like the devil dresses himself as an angel of light, lies are wrapped in pretty packaging to attract and trap people.
If we take time to learn God's word and use it to protect ourselves from the enemy's flaming arrows (check Ephesians 6) then we need to speak on that truth boldly. If we know the freedom we get by following Christ then why wouldn't we want to give that freedom to someone else?
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
It's not easy to stand up to homosexuality or addiction or false idols.. you name it... but we are called to be like Him and He is Truth. But it doesn't have to be completely overwhelming. Take one topic at a time, research it, see what God says in His word about it, and learn that. Then you can stand up for truth easier because you know what the Creator of this universe says about it.
This is why I created the Topic Studies Template so you can keep track of the big questions and research one topic at a time. Then when someone asks you about it, you can pull up your notes on your phone and share what you've learned. You don't have to have everything memorized.
4. Love People & Do Good Things
We are called to love but not in the way the world sees it. In fact, lately there's accusations thrown at Christians that they have to accept sins of others out of "neighborly love." That's not true love. Supporting someone in their sin it the opposite of love, it's condemning them to hell.
Jesus spoke truth everywhere He went but He also showed love in other ways; by being there for others, by making others feel seen, by giving people hope, by healing and so many other ways but ultimately He showed love by taking the blame for our sins.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Now that is true love and what does God say about doing good?
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness." Psalm 37:3
"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." Hebrews 13:16
"I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
There are many opportunities for us to lend a helping hand or make someone feel truly seen. As Christians we should radiate peace and kindness and be the light on this dark earth. So this is the 4th resolution I have for 2023 but notice it carefully follows Speaking Truth because it's very easy to confuse "doing good" with neglecting God's word to make someone feel better. In everything we must stand firm in truth first.
5. Fellowship with Other Christians
I remember since I was a young child the one lesson I learned as a Christian was that the devil's goal is always to separate us because we are stronger together. This is from family to community to church and beyond. Look at what this Covid world has done, separate people and put anger in everyones hearts. He used fear to scare us from seeing our own friends and family. Churches shut down and now we see the results of that; sexuality in every social channel, fight towards the innocence of children, mutation of humanity and perversion, and many Christians running for the hills to survive (how many moved to have their own farm away from cities?) Zach and I moved from CA to NC in search for normalcy only to find that every major city across the US has fallen unto the same sin and every Christian was trying to flee.
We are stronger together and we need it now more than ever. This is one of the main reasons we left North Carolina and moved to Idaho. We LOVED NC and the beautiful nature there but we knew it was more important to have our community nearby during this time. We were blessed that in moving to Idaho we now have friends and family nearby. While that's a good start, for 2023 we want more than that. We want to create a community that stands for truth and supports one another in good and bad times. We hope that one day this community leads to fun events like hiking together or volunteering for a missions trip but for now our goal is to spread truth and surround ourselves with others who stand for truth.
I hope this post gave you some ideas for New Year's Resolutions and we'd love to hear other ones you have for 2023.