Each year, the time comes when Christmas has passed and we begin compiling a list of New Years Resolutions to better ourselves in the upcoming year. We stay up until 12 o’clock to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, and we are inspired to change for the better. Something happens in our minds to make us feel a necessity and urgency to live with purpose. To live in freedom from our fears and from our past.

At one point or another, you have probably felt this way. You may have compiled a list of resolutions, or goals, to better yourself. Or, you may feel like doing such a thing is pointless because of your previous failure to follow through during the year. I want to encourage you that whether you “believe” in making resolutions or not, God is offering you a new beginning. Not only because it’s a New Year, but because His Word says so. Lamentations 3:22-23 says,

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.

By this, we know that God is constantly holding out His hand, waiting for us to hold onto Him with all that we are. We can be confident that no matter what we have done, or what has been done to us, we are never too far away for God’s reach.

What if this is your year to get free? To let go of your past failures, to forgive someone who’s hurt you, to break addictions, to form healthy relationships, to seek God with all your heart, to step out in faith more than ever before. I dare you to believe that this is your year for freedom, and the only person who can stop that freedom from happening is yourself. In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We must cling to the Word of God no matter what we feel or what our circumstances tell us. We must listen to the truth and let it change us from the inside out. The way to freedom is knowing His truths. So, whatever you’re dealing with, begin declaring the Word of God over your situation! Speak the Word over yourself even when you don’t feel like it, and you will begin to break the chains that have held you down. And we can’t do this alone, so surround yourself with people who will listen, encourage, speak truth, and keep you accountable. The pathway to freedom is not an easy one, but it is definitely possible if we follow Jesus’ words.

Friends, here is my encouragement to you this year: God is for you and He loves you. He wants relationship with you, and He wants you to live in freedom. If you don’t do anything else this year, do this one thing: Get to know Jesus better. If the fruit of relationship with Him is bettering yourself, then great! As the year progresses, and your New Year Resolutions fade into the back of your mind, just remember that God is offering you new beginnings…not only on the first of the year, but every single moment of every single day. It’s never too late to reach out to Him and experience the freedom you’ve always longed for. Happy New Year, and Happy New Beginnings!

-Deanna Joven