Grace for New Year failings
What happens when we hit mid-January, we're already exhausted, busy, and feeling very far away from the person we aimed to be at the start of the New Year? Lucy points us back to our Father God, who calls us to rest on Him in every circumstance. It's all about grace!
The New Year. This is always such a time of change and excitement - a time to resolve to eat better, get fitter and work harder: to change bad habits and create new, better ones. It feels like the perfect time to 'start afresh', yet it can also leave us feeling slightly demoralized. Because we know that even if we get up for a run on January 1st, or start creating beautifully highlighted flashcards at the end of each day, for most of us it won’t last.
And if we treat the New Year as an opportunity to kick start our bible reading and prayer life again, or try to break a pattern of sin, for most of us, it won’t last. It can leave us feeling inadequate and unworthy – how on earth can God love someone who can’t even read their bible each day at the beginning of January?
This is where 2 Corinthians 12:9 can really help us. Paul writes:
'But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.'
No matter how well you know this verse, take some time to look at it afresh this morning.
God says His grace is sufficient, that it is enough for us.
All the more, he says that His power is made perfect in weakness. That is, in our weakness.
He knows only too well that we are weak, and that in our own strength we can’t transform our own lives – for the New Year, or at any other point. But His grace is sufficient for us. We need not get demoralized, or frustrated – instead we can praise God, whose grace is enough. We are told that we should go further – to “boast” about our weaknesses, so that “Christ’s power may rest on me.”
I don’t think this means that we should give up on reading the bible altogether, just because we know that we’ll miss days – or give in to temptations because we are weak. Instead, we should be trying to live for Jesus each day, and work to become more like Him by finding out more about His character and plan.
Yet at the same time, when we do mess up, as we most certainly will, we don’t have to despair or give up. We can instead praise God, knowing that He knows us, and can use our weaknesses to move us to lean more on Him, and stop trying to do things in our own strength.
So by all means use this January to try and create better habits, and to start reading your bible and to find ways to learn more about God and His plan for our lives. But when we mess up and fall short of the standards we have set for ourselves, we can remember this – we are weak, and by ourselves can do nothing. Yet God’s grace is sufficient for each and every one of us, no matter what we have done or will do.
So lean on Him, knowing that He is powerful, and He is good.
Lucy is at Sixth Form in Cambridge. She is a fan of books, chocolate brownies and trashy TV. She is part of Christ Church Cambridge, where she loves being able to meet with others to learn more about Jesus.