Well, welcome to 2021! Not much has changed has it? How funny is the thought that the year changing would change the state of the world or a virus? It struck me this New Years Eve that I haven't experienced sadness at the chime of midnight for awhile. A few years ago I remember I would have this consistent feeling of sadness, like I had nothing to look forward to after New Years Eve. I thought it on it awhile and I think it is because I was putting my hope in the New Year, new things, and new happiness instead of Jesus. But all this supposed newness would leave me empty year after year.
That was until I really began to understand that I had my focus all wrong. For years I professed to be a believer in Jesus, yet there was no renewal taking place. Instead of growing in my faith, I was allowing myself to be satisfied with things that fed feel-good feelings. I was using these things to cope with pain and avoid healing. It wasn't until I began to really deal with these things that I began to realize what I was doing. Once I began to let my walls down and let Jesus in, I truly began to be transformed.
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the actual words of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil." Hebrews 5:11-14
Part of my campout in the Feel Good Tent was being stuck in infancy. I wanted to be comforted, uplifted, but never convicted. I would go to church, go home, and also serve, but even volunteering my time was at times a bad attempt at filling the emptiness I was feeling. Now, I don't want to downplay the importance of the "milk". The elementary principles led me to Jesus and the truth of the gospel changed my life. But we cannot camp there. God has so much more for us.
Every day is a renewal process. If you are like me there are a lot of patterns, ideas, trauma, etc. that happened prior to following Jesus, things that need to be placed at the foot of the cross. Trading these things for God's truth won't happen overnight.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. - Ephesians 4:22-24