Sustainable Change In The New Year
The beginning of each New Year often brings with it people being challenged to make resolutions about things in their lives that need changing. Psalm 131 illustrates where true change comes from.
Hope for change outside of self
The first point is found in verse three. David says, that the hope, which is the earnest anticipation that comes with believing something good. Hope is a confident expectation that naturally stems from faith. Hope is a peaceful assurance that something that hasn’t happened yet will indeed happen. This hope comes from abiding with the Lord.
John 15:4-8 (NKJV)4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
This hope for change is found in relationship. Your relationship with Jesus.
The motivation behind New Year’s resolutions is the hope for change—to develop and grow in some area of your life. This hope is not wrong, but as a starting place, it will always leave one feeling empty. David, in Psalm 131, offers the greatest starting point for change. Our hope in the Lord and His steadfastness leads us to the best place possible. We become completely dependent upon Him.
A humble heart with a humble outlook
The second point is in verse one.
Psalm 131:1 (HCSB)1 LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me.
David is talking about a heart that has been humbled. If our hope is in Christ and we abide in Him, then our perspective on life is fixed on Him. We see ourselves in proper perspective, which means we see God’s work in our lives through His eyes. Our goals and pursuits are filtered through God and His glory.
True change comes only through Christ. To look to ourselves, others, or to self help books and tools is doomed, in most cases to failure. As you come up with resolutions for change, ask yourself if it is for God’s glory and purposes in your life or for some other reason. (See Set Goals For 2019 That God Will Bless)
A quiet and content heart
The third point is found in verse two.
Psalm 131:2 (HCSB) Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother; I am like a little child.
This verse is the focal point of change. We need the ability to quiet ourselves. We want to be able to interject into the middle of a situation to bring about the necessary change and make a resolution to solve it. Most resolutions for change are driven by such a motive. The desire to transform and alter a current reality as simply as David puts it in verse two is very appealing.
David’s ability to quiet his soul isn’t based on any ability of his own. It comes from his hope he receives from abiding in the Lord and His faithfulness. This hope leads to a humble heart with a humble outlook. From here David is able to quite himself to the point that he describes it as being like a child in his mother’s lap.
Christ has already accomplished for us what we could not do on our own. Abiding in Christ and humbling will give us the power to change, which is what we want to do when we make New Year’s resolutions. Seeking to change any other way is unsustainable.