Romans 3:3-4, "What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."
In 1738, the literary giant Samuel Johnson wrote in his diary: "Oh Lord, enable me to redeem the time which I have spent in sloth." Nineteen years later, he wrote, "Oh mighty God, enable me to shake off sloth and redeem the time misspent in idleness and sin by diligent application of the days yet remaining." He wrote some variation of this prayer every year after that. Finally, in 1775, 38 years after his first resolution, he wrote, "When I look back upon resolution of improvement and amendments which have, year after year, been made and broken, why do I yet try and resolve again? I try because reformation is necessary and despair is criminal."
Johnson is describing human life. We start every year thinking, 'This is the year!' We resolve to turn over a new leaf—and this time we are serious. We promise ourselves we're going to quit bad habits and start good ones. We're going to get in shape, eat better, waste less time, be more content, be more disciplined, and so forth. We're going to be better husbands, wives, fathers, mothers. And then, twelve months later, we've fallen short … again.
The gospel is the good news announcing Jesus' infallible devotion to us in spite of our inconsistent devotion to him. As this new year gets under way, take comfort in knowing that we are weak and he is strong—that even as our love for Jesus falls short, Jesus' love for us never will.
Prayer: Holy Father, we thank you that even if we are faithless you are faithful. We fail and fall short and You are the steady rock that keeps our foot from slipping. We give our new year to You and ask that You will mold it, make something beautiful out of it for Your glory. Thank you for You faithful steadfastness and the love that never fails us. In Jesus name, amen.