112016_LisaJoBaker_Unafraid

We’re good at starting the New Year measuring ourselves, aren’t we? At weighing ourselves and being disappointed. At weighing our lives and our lists and our last year’s resolutions and realizing we failed to follow through. Again.

We make ourselves promises like — this is the year I’m going to lose 25 pounds. This is the year I’ll quit smoking. This is the year I’ll finally pay off my debt. This is the year I’ll go after that job, write that book, finally figure out how to get a handle on my temper.

We make ourselves these promises but we hardly believe them even as we’re making them.

Because there’s still last year, still hanging heavy around our necks, weighing us down with all the ways we didn’t live up to our promises. We have a lifetime of looking back that likes to poke fun at all the ways we fail.

So here comes another January 1st, and it’s easy to roll out of bed, look at that face in the mirror, and step onto that scale and feel defeated. Before the new year has even begun.

My house is still covered in Christmas and there are dishes stacked on the countertops and new toys already broken and kids bickering from too much sugar and too many late nights, and it would be easy to look around and believe that, “Nothing ever changes.”

It would be easy to shrug off this new year even as you’re stepping into it — already defeated. But here’s the thing. You’re the daughter of the God who does makes all things new. He is the God who is endlessly creative and utterly unfazed by all the doubt and fear and baggage you bring into the new year.

20160101_Baker_New Year Sun Dial

So as you catch your breath at the beginning of this new season, here are ten things you can hold onto. Ten things that are true no matter your weight or goals or failed resolutions from last year.

These ten things you can count on even if this year lets you down, your Father God never will. Because He is forever New, forever the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Ten Guaranteed Resolutions You Can Count On as You Start This New Year

1. God can make all things new — including you. It is never too late.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” {Isaiah 43:19}

2. There is nothing you can do this year that will make God love you more or love you less or separate you from His love.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” {Romans 8:37-39}

3. No matter what happens this year, you can count on the fact that your Father God will take delight in you when you are awake and sing over you when you are asleep.

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” {Zephaniah 3:17}

4. When you ache, when you cry and flail and despair this year, not a single one of your tears will be missed by the God who misses nothing and who tenderly catches your tears. 

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” {Psalm 56: 8}

5. No matter how nervous you might feel about what this new year holds, God intends good for you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” {Jeremiah 29:11}

6. Your value doesn’t lie in your job or your success or your relationships or your weight or family or fame — but in the fact that you are know by the God who created you.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” {Matthew 10: 29-31}

7. How much you are loved isn’t contingent on what you do this year. It’s based solely on who Christ is. Period.

“But God shows His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” {Romans 5:8}

8. No matter what you get wrong or right this year, your identity as a child of God remains a guaranteed fact.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”{1 John 3:1}

9. No matter who fails you this year, who doesn’t live up to their promises, who lets you down or gives up on you. Your Father God will never quit you, will never get tired of you, will never give up on you.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations.” {Deuteronomy 7:9}

10. There is nothing you will experience this year that Jesus can’t relate to. No loss or agony or fear or doubt or worry or death. He already knows. 

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ He asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied.’ Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how He loved him!'” {John 11:33-36}

Thanks be to God for the God who has walked in our shoes, laughed with our delights, celebrated our joys, and wept our losses.

This year is His and His alone.

Walk into it unafraid, dear friends, because He’s already there, waiting for you. And He is the one thing this year guaranteed not to let you down.

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  • Anna Smit

    Love this, Lisa-Jo. Beautiful and powerful truths to carry with us wherever God takes us in 2016.
    “Thanks be to God for the God who has walked in our shoes, laughed with our delights, celebrated our joys, and wept our losses.” What Love.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Thanks indeed!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Lisa-Jo,
    These are all wonderful truths to dwell on and let sink deep into the fabric of our souls. #7 jumped out at me this morning…how much I’m loved is NOT contingent upon what I do this year, it is based on who Christ is. period. When I get into my “gotta do” mode, I pray that this truth will rise to the top and remind me just why I am always loved. Thank you for wise and wonderful words to start the new year. Happy New Year to you and the (in)courage encouragers!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Happy New Year to you too, Bev! I also struggle with that “gotta do” mode – and I have to constantly remind myself it’s about “gotta just accept that you’re loved” instead.

  • Angela Parlin

    Lisa-Jo, I love these so much, because instead of my focus being on ME and what I “will do” or won’t, my focus is now on the Lord, and who He is, what He has done, what He will do, what He makes me… For this, I thank you sincerely. Amazing way to start the new year!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Thanks Angela – it did me good just writing all those promises from our good Father down.

  • http://sunnyand80.org/ Meg Bucher

    Lisa-Jo,
    Thank you so much for this. My heart needed to absorb every drop of truth you have shared here.
    I woke up feeling defeated! I did! I have spent the last two months of the year preparing myself to be able to accomplish all of my resolutions for 2016… But in my “humanness” I failed my own resolve within the first hour of the new year, with that last glass of wine.
    I’m going to keep your post close in the next year, to remind myself to keep doing the best with how I’ve been blessed!
    Reading that I can’t let God down is a huge weight off of my shoulders… That He will love me the same this year as He did last year and always has.
    You’re a remarkable writer.
    Happy New Year!
    Megs

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      SUCH a relief that we can’t let Him down and that He already loved us while we were sinners – so that we can go into this year knowing it’s already completed – all the hardest things – He’s already done them.

  • Kathy Cheek @ In Quiet Places

    Oh how I do want to want to walk into this new year unafraid, and we can because God is who He says He is and all of these resolutions remind us of this important truth!

    Thank you for this perfect ten,

    Happy New Year!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      And a happy new Year to you too Kathy!

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Thank you for such an encouraging post Lisa-Jo. What an uplifting way to start a new day, a new year. What a perfect reminder that God’s mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. As I read these, I had the thought, that yes, we make our resolutions and fail. But God makes resolutions too. And He keeps them. And we are so fortunate that He does!
    Blessings to you. I so enjoy reading whatever you have to say. And what I especially loved was hearing you speak and meeting you at the Jumping Tandem Retreat in 2013. You have a big heart and a bigger laugh. You were a wonderful, authentic speaker, and I loved meeting you personally. I don’t think you have one prima-donna bone in your body.
    Happy 2016!
    Lynn

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Hey there Lynn- what an amazing time that retreat was. So grateful to have been there. Happy New year to you!

  • Natasha

    This is great, thanks!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Happy New Year Natasha!

  • Penny

    What a refreshing way for us to begin this brand New Year, to walk into it unafraid.Thank-you Lisa Jo for sharing your wonderful words with us all on the first 2016 morning.
    Happy New Year everyone!

    Penny

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      You’re so welcome Penny. It’s an honor to start the New Year with you all.

  • The hopeful

    Any chance of a printable with these

    • Joanne Peterson

      There is a tiny print box of a green rectangle to print. It prints just the article not the comments, and the pictures can be deleted if you would like it shorter.

      • Penny

        Joanne,

        Thank-you for pointing that out, in all the time of been coming here I never realized that.

        Happy New Year!

        Penny

        • Joanne Peterson

          And a Happy New Year to you as well! You’re welcome, I stumbled on it out of curiosity one day and it worked.

      • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

        Thanks Joanne :)

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Lisa-Jo, I can’t think of 10 better resolutions to cling to than what you’ve shared. It’s not about me, it’s about God in me, working in and through me. It’s about where my focus is, where my thoughts and heart dwell . . . His truths and words are what will hold my hand through this new year.

    I need the reminder that God is already waiting for us in each day of this new year. Thanks for the perspective.

    LOVED this post!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      I need that reminder all the time myself – it was good soul therapy to write it down :)

  • Joanne Peterson

    Lisa-Jo,
    How beautiful to focus on God’s faithfulness and His promises for we His children! And He who began the good work in us IS FAITHFUL to complete it. I am so grateful to focus on Who He is and His intentions (and they come to pass) instead of my weaknesses. The Holy Spirit will whisper what He intends for each day, firstly spending time with Him and wanting to remain with Him throughout the day. My word for 2016 is remain/abide. This fits wonderfully with knowing the character of God and trusting in Him. Just beautiful! When the Lord spoke to me 8 years ago, and reconfirmed His workings for my prayers for my family, He gave me Isaiah 43:19. This post starts off with this word! This is a confirmation of His plans, love, and sovereignty of His plans for my family, for me.
    Blessings, Joanne

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      So grateful for that reminder – and the relief of knowing HE will complete the hard works this year in us and for us and through us. Happy New Year, Joanne.

  • Rebecca Jones

    Great verses to start the New Year with!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Thanks Rebecca!

  • Guest

    Just brilliant. I sat down to try and work out some sort of positive affirmation to stick in the front of my planner and spotted this post: job done!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Thanks for that – happy New Year to you, friend!

  • Virginia

    This is what I needed to read this morning! I’m overwhelmed, like many, on a regular basis. This puts the focus on all He has for us. Thank you for these words. May God bless you in extraordinary ways this new year!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Yea, each new day can feel heavy with all the to-dos, can’t it? Such a relief to know I’m not on my own – not by a long shot.

  • Deena Maga

    Thank you I really needed to hear this, I can have moments when I feel afraid but I need to know a trust that God is with me, amen thanks.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      I fight fear all the time too, Deena. Writing these down was like soul therapy. Happy New Year, friend!

      • Deena Maga

        Thanks, Lisa May God bless you!!

  • http://dalenereyburn.com/ Dalene Reyburn

    Love this, friend! Thank you… Every strength and blessing to you and yours in 2016! Much love, Dalene

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Thanks so much sweet friend – wishing I was celebrating it in the South African sunshine! Sending so much love from across the seas.

  • http://theodoregreat.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-faiths-confession.html Theodore Great

    Loving this, a great post to start this new year :)

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Thanks Theodore – happy New Year from (in)courage.

  • http://www.christanperona.com Christan Perona

    Thank you, Lisa-Jo. New Year’s can be a really fragile time. For as much as we love that “clean slate”, there is a tug within all of our minds and hearts that we KNOW we will fail. We know we will lose perspective, lose discipline, lose motivation. You are rock solidly pointing us to Scripture rather than man’s wisdom, and for that I thank you. May we pray Scripture – His truth – back to the Father all through 2016!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Thanks Christan – here’s to a year we know is already washed clean, no matter what happens, thanks to Jesus and His promises to us.

  • shelly

    Thank you for these words. I am away from everyone I know, doing a 3 day juice cleanse/detox. Reading this made me realize, I’m not alone at all, God is right here with me, battling my demons with me. Nice.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Hi there Shelly, not alone by a long shot. Praying that Jesus meets you right where you are today.

  • Beth Williams

    Lisa-Jo,
    Thank you for these great Resolutions to ruminate on!! This year will bring many changes and challenges, but through it all I know God is there with me walking right beside me holding me tight!!! Zephaniah 3:17 and Jeremiah 29:11 are two of my favorite verses!!!
    Have a blessed weekend and a great 2016! Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us!!
    Blessings :)