Why is it so hard to fulfill New Year's resolutions? We all have trouble: We come up with these good intentions for how we want to do 2017 differently, and then a couple weeks into the new year and we notice not much is different.
Why is that? Beloved evangelist, Billy Graham, has really good insight. Now 98, the wise "Pastor to the Presidents" has seen a lot of life--good and bad.
In a column directed to help people this year with their desire to change, Graham answered the question of why resolutions often fail. He begins:
"Perhaps the “resolutions” on your list weren’t really resolutions at all, but merely a list of your wishes—things you would have liked to happen in your life, but you had no realistic plan to achieve them."
But Graham went on to say there may be a much deeper, more powerful reason behind your past inability to achieve your resolutions. He writes:
"But there’s another reason why our resolutions often fail: We simply don’t have the inner strength to carry them out. Temptations come, and we give into them; discipline is required, but we’d rather do what’s easiest."
"What’s right is clear to us," Graham continues, "but we give into the pressure of the crowd. Even the Apostle Paul experienced this inner moral and spiritual weakness: 'I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out' (Romans 7:18)."
So it there hope? Graham says a resounding, "YES." The hope lies in a heart change that only God can do in us. Graham writes:
"This is one reason why we need Christ. When we put our lives into His hands, He comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit and begins to change us from within. He gives us a new desire to do what’s right, and a new power to carry it out. The Bible’s words are true: 'The Spirit helps us in our weakness' (Romans 8:26)."
If you are having a hard time with your resolutions, Graham wants to encourage you! He ended his column with this great exhortation:
"Don’t drift aimlessly through another year. Instead, as this New Year begins, turn to Jesus. Christ and commit your life to Him. God loves you, and Christ gave His life for you. Why not give Him your life in return? Not only will He help you cast off the bad habits and sins of the past, but He’ll also give you a new desire to live as you should. Open your heart to Christ today."
How does Graham's advice make you feel? Does this help you at all today? Let us know in the Comments! Thank you!