'Tis the new year. . . .the time for reflecting on the past (good), making goals for this year (good), feeling inferior to others and their accomplishments and goals (bad), and setting ourselves up for disappointment (bad).
There's a lot that's good in goal setting and reflecting on our past. But sometimes all of the pragmatic glory of New Year's Day leaves out a HUGE piece: the sovereignty of God. He allowed and/or empowered whatever happened or didn't happen last year, and He will empower and/or allow all that happens, or doesn't happen this year. "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." (Prov. 16:9). So, shall we be fatalists (eat and drink for tomorrow we die)? No, the bible calls us to be thoughtful, productive, and active. But, as Paul Tripp beautifully shows in this piece on Gideon. . . . it often looks a lot different than we want it to look (or than we try to make it look):
We aren't called to be heroes. We have no heroic qualities within ourselves. But we still can act with faith, courage, and hope, because like Gideon, it's the Lord who sends us and the Lord who will be with us every step of the way.