Finding joy while defrosting the car
It’s been a week since so-called ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year. January hits us hard.
The promise of a new-year-new-you might have evaporated into new-year-same-old-you. Same old job? Same old suffering? Same old… well, life.
But January joy can be found – and it’s a joy that puts defrosting the car into real perspective.
After all, Christians can and will change. But often God’s programme for change looks very different to ours.
It isn’t based on a burst of New Year energy, but a hard-fought increase in our love for Jesus. God often uses the condemnation of our rushed resolutions to remind us that in Christ there’s no condemnation (Romans 8:1).
Neither is God’s programme for change so much about our circumstances but our character. He often uses those circumstances we’d resolved to change as the soil for the character change he promises to bring.
So our joy has to come from somewhere other than success with our resolutions or a change in our circumstances.
Real change, real joy
The apostle Peter encourages us, not with the hope of a new year, but the hope of a new world.
‘Set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.’ 1 Peter 1:13
The hope of ending our bad habits will happen in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52); our dreams of ‘being paid what we deserve’ are forgotten when we take hold of uncountable riches (Ephesians 3:8).
In the midst of winter’s doom and gloom, let’s remember Christ to warm our hearts. And let’s crack on in our hard-fought fight for holiness until we get to be with him (1 Peter 1:15).
Although it’s slow, there’s nothing ‘blue’ about God’s programme for change. He’s getting us ready for eternal joy (2 Corinthians 4:17).