December 31, 2019
A Transformative Resolution
Like it or not, this is the day people
all over the world reflect on the last
year and resolve to make changes in the
next. Christians, too, do this, even if
some feel resolved to make no
Christian, if you are pondering 2019
this morning and considering what you
may resolve, or vow, or choose to make
2020 better, here's a suggestion.
Resolve to focus on the best thing
instead of the next thing.
Creatures of hope, we are made to look
forward to the next desirable thing we
hope to experience. This isn't wrong or
sinful but entirely natural and good. It
helps spur us on through deep valleys,
stormy seas, and long, dark nights.
Christians this "next thing"
anticipation is enhanced because we have
purposes in the will of God to obtain,
precious promises from His Word to
realize, and heartfelt prayers to see
answered. All these are according to
God's will, they bring Him glory, and
they in some measure help build His
eternal kingdom. Thus, it is His will
that we look forward to them.
But just here is the snare. Too often we
become so focused on the next thing in
God's will we forget, devalue, and
ignore the best thing in His will:
Himself! David encapsulated this truth
for the ages in the Psalter: "In thy
presence is fullness of joy; at thy
right hand there are pleasures for
evermore" (Psalm 16:11).
At some point in his wilderness
wanderings David realized by the Holy
Spirit's enlightenment that the best
thing - the God with whom He visited
daily in prayer, praise, Torah
meditation, and worship - was a far
great blessing than even the next things
he hoped to receive from Him: rescue
from terrible injustice, the vindication
of his long-maligned name, the
prophesied kingship of Israel, the
chance to teach all Israel the spiritual
ways of worship and living he had
learned in his educative years of
suffering. It was a transformative
And it led, we may be sure to the
transformative resolution of Psalm
16:11. In whatever year David resolved
this, I guarantee his next was better!
David became a distinctly more content,
peaceful, loving, God-centered man whose
ministry to others became more powerful,
timely, and transformative.
From then on, when tempted to work up a
fret (or envy) because of the next
things he could not yet grasp (and
perhaps others did), he quietly resolved
to immerse and console his soul in the
wonderful thing he had: the matchless
joy and pleasure of seeking and finding
God. The true God. The only
God. The One from whom we came and to
whom we will go. Every day. No matter
what others thought of him. No matter
how unfair, strange, hurtful, or
inexplicable his circumstances.
Thereafter, David continued to pray and
hope for his heart's greatest desires
while satisfying his heart's deepest
needs with the best thing. Until, one
day, he possessed both.
My friend, be Davidic. Be resolved. Be
transformed. Keep praying for and
expecting the next things while
satisfying yourself daily with the best
thing. I guarantee, no, David
guarantees, 2020 will be better.