Life beats with a natural rhythm and beauty. For some this may be more difficult to see. Yet, creation is like a canvas, and God is the master artist. Our existence and the world in which we live manifests an innate poetry placed there by its maker. Psalm 19 explains that the heavens tell of the glory of God. Such a fact is often forgotten when face to face with the evil in our world, much less the evil in our own hearts. But without blinking, the Bible holds together these divergent thoughts: God created the world good and because of Man’s rebellion sin and evil exist.

When contemplating our rebellion against our Creator, never be surprised that there is evil in the world. According to C.S. Lewis, what is surprising is that there is any good at all. Yet, we see good all around us when we take the time to observe it. The songbirds in my yard and the rainbow I pointed out to my children last week after the rain are testimony to small and large doses of good that God gives from his very large storehouse of grace.

In an effort to enjoy His gifts more, I offer to you thoughts for resolutions for the upcoming year. The week between Christmas and New Year’s was made for reflecting. I hope you are able to do some before next week gets too busy. As you reflect remember, any resolution you make is made and kept only by God’s grace in Christ.

Our Father in heaven, I am resolved to take greater delight in the tremendous privilege granted by the cross to call God, Father.

Hallowed be Your name. I am resolved to hallow the name of God more in 2017 than in years past. May others also sense the reverence for God in my own life and join me in holy awe.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I am resolved from grateful motivation to live according to God’s word, the will of heaven, more faithfully this year than in years past. May the Lord help me to be patient and kind – bearing all things, believing all things, enduring all things, as well as keeping no record of wrong.

Give us this day our daily bread. I am resolved to eat no morsel of food without grateful recognition of God’s provision. May he grant to me a delight in the wonders of creation that I might delight in him all the more.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. I am resolved to forgive those who wrong me that I might enjoy more the forgiveness of God for how I have wronged him.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. I am resolved to flee immorality by cleaving to God. Even as the Apostle James has said, draw near to God and he will draw near to you. I resolve to love the things God loves and hate the things God hates.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. I am resolved to give more of myself in worship to the only true God. He is our King, we live by his power and for his glory. I resolve to maintain such a view of the world that acknowledges God at every turn.

As you ponder and promise with me, I pray that this year will be filled with a God-centered perspective. May we see our trials as God’s shaping tools and his good gifts as extensions of his fatherhood. All is from his hand.