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Making new year resolutions that are lasting

I listened to a podcast recently about why people complain so much.

In the big picture, many of our complaints can appear inconsequential. It’s an outward cry of an inward focus on thoughts and attitudes.

Let’s confess that our human nature is drawn to look at what the world has to offer to solve what we believe is essential in our lives. 

The materialism of Christmas doesn’t help.

We see our neighbor, friend, or family member receive something extraordinary and our envy inspires grumbling about what we don’t have rather than rejoice in what we do have.

God lovingly provides amazing gifts that the world cannot match. Yet, these gifts can largely go unnoticed or be quickly forgotten. Our human nature has a lousy memory.

If you are tired of being dissatisfied, disgusted with spiritual memory lapses, and longing for purpose to be more kingdom-minded, I have an idea to help us.

Let’s make new year resolutions that are not based on what we can do, earn, or achieve, but on what Christ can do through us.

I have five suggestions for new year resolutions that are based on Psalm 62.

My soul can only find true rest in God. In him alone, I will never shake with doubt or fear. 

Resolution #1:  For this, I receive God’s presence in all things because he is my rock and my fortress.

My soul can only find true rest in God. In him, I will always have hope for the future, confidence in the present, and forgiveness from the past.

Resolution #2: For this, I am resolute in Christ.

My soul depends solely on God for my salvation. He will lift me up before the world and claim me as his own. Because he is the mighty Rock, my refuge, and my source of trust for every storm that will come my way.

Resolution #3: For this, I am resolute in Christ.

My soul trusts in one thing that God tells us time after time. You, O God, are strong!

Resolution #4:  For this, I am resolute in Christ.

My soul trusts that you, O God, have heavenly rewards awaiting us in paradise because of what you have already done for us.

Resolution #5:  For this, I am resolute in what you have already done for us to make our salvation absolutely secure no matter what life throws our way.

We can go to the Lord and pray,

“O Lord, in the swirling winds that routinely go in my heart and mind that prompts confusion and casts doubt, I claim my trust in you alone. You are my Rock from where I can stand tall through any storm. You are my Deliverer from which I can be be your source of light in a dark world. You are my refuge where I can receive security, rest, and renewal. You are my honor for which I am fully dependent upon. Thank you for making my eternal salvation squarely secure in you. May your presence through your Word keep me lifted up when my feelings are down. May my first response always be trusting in you at all times and be my source to pour out my words, prayers, and service in your name alone. I remain resolute in your grace. Amen.” 


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  1. James Lillo on January 31, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I made two new year’s resolutions. The first is to lose 30 lbs; and the second, and most important is to share Christ with my neighbors. My plan is to personally present them with a law/gospel message. In order to get the opportunity to do this I plan to offer them a $100 dollar bill, if they can honestly tell me that the news I’m about to share with them is NOT THE MOST WONDERFUL NEWS THEY HAVE EVER HEARD IN THEIR LIFE. As part of my follow up I hope to add them to my Daily Devotions email list. Each day I forward our WELS Daily Devotions to 67 of my FRAN. I will also invite and encourage them to enroll in our church’s
    BIC, as well as inviting them to attend our church – St. Mark’s. in Watertown, WI.. I also encourage you to check out my website – The Andrew Plan for Outreach & Assimiliation

    • Dave Malnes on January 31, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you, James. I like your resolutions — especially proclaiming the gospel.

  2. Craig Schwartz on January 31, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I would like an “inside” clue in how to speak to family members re: Jesus as our Lord and Savior. My new wife has a gay daughter, my grandson has given up on Jesus,

    • Dave Malnes on February 1, 2019 at 9:21 am

      Thanks for dropping by Craig. A common short question that deserves a long involved answer. My “inside” clue? Be patient, persistent, and prayerful. Speaking about Christ our Savior with family members is a different and difficult dynamic. Frustration, impatience, and anger can seep into our tone of voice and the words we choose. Don’t succumb to that! Instead, plant seeds of the gospel with short responses — lovingly and respectfully. They will ask when they feel safe with you. It’s the power of God’s Word that saves, not our convincing. Trust that each seed that is planted works in a powerful way. Then, somebody may knock on their door some day and talk about God’s love, full forgiveness and what Christ has already done for us. And accept their invitation to come to Easter. That’s how God works through a body of Christ who are faithful in “working while it is day”. God bless!

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