FROM BRANDON HANKS

For many of us, January is the time of year when we simultaneously look back and look forward. We reflect on our lives and the choices we have made in the past year with a hopeful anticipation of a new year that is about to begin. This often results in developing New Year’s resolutions. While this can be an exciting step in the right direction and the beginning of transformation, it far too often ends in disappointment. For those of us who play into this yearly cycle, we discover and re-learn that we tend to be unfaithful to our commitments, and ultimately to ourselves.   

Rather than a word of wisdom on how to set realistic New Year’s resolutions or a you-can-do, just work harder message of encouragement, let me suggest that we would do well to fix our eyes on the One who is faithful

I have found that unfaithfulness, whether it is someone else’s unfaithfulness or that of my own, is a humbling reminder of God’s faithfulness. He doesn’t lie to us. He doesn’t commit to do something and then fail to do it. He doesn’t break His promises. These are squarely our issues. We are often unfaithful people, whether it’s to a not-so-significant resolution, or to a more serious commitment that involves the One who created us. 

That’s why we come back, again and again, to the broken body and shed blood of Christ. It is not always our hunger, our good intentions, our wisdom, or our great success that leads us to Him. Often it is in the brokenness over our unfaithfulness that we find our way back to Him. And in that return to Jesus we are met with the truth that He has already accounted for our unfaithfulness. That’s why we celebrate Him who left His glory, showed up on earth as a human like us, endured the rejection and ridicule from those He made and came to save, and died a cruel, unjust criminal’s death on a cross. And yet it didn’t end there: three days later this same Jesus victoriously rose from the dead, appeared to many, and then ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, where He is now interceding for us. The Faithful One took our unfaithfulness head on, and still provides for us today.     

So let’s commit this year to see unfaithfulness in light of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ that stands in stark contrast. Let’s commit to return often to His broken body and shed blood. Let’s commit to remember the eternal covenant that is based on His faithfulness, which continues to bring us all together as one people.  In the words inspired by the Holy Spirit: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” [Hebrews 10:23]. Church, our God remains faithful, in every season, year after year, forever and ever. Resolve to embrace His faithfulness this year. Let’s do this together!

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