The other day, a woman in our church told me about a conversation she initiated with the ladies in her small group. She had planned to discuss ways to grow in the New Year. However, as she prepared for the discussion, she found herself discouraged—so aware of the many ways she needed to grow and so unaware that “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
So, she began her meeting with a different question: “What is one way you have grown in godliness in this past year?” What followed was a rich time of fellowship and encouragement as the women became aware of God’s grace actively working in their lives.
I was so inspired by this idea that when I met with the girls in my small group this past Sunday, we too spent time recounting evidences of God’s grace before we shared our New Year’s resolutions.
This was not to take personal credit or glory in our own achievements, for all growth in godliness is by God’s grace. Rather, it was a way to praise God for His ongoing work in our lives. The effect on my own soul was to bolster my faith. As I consider how God has been faithful to sanctify me in this past year, it gives me confident hope that he will continue to work throughout this coming year.
I can make my New Year’s resolution in faith, remembering that the Holy Spirit is powerfully at work within me (Col. 1:29). So what is one way God’s grace has been at work in your life this past year?