“The steps of a man are established by the Lord;
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong;
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand” (Ps. 37:23-24; NASB).
Today is New Year’s Day — a day to watch football bowl games, eat black-eyed peas and spend time with the family. It’s also a day of reflection. It is the day that many will examine the past year and resolve to make changes in the coming year. It is a day that inevitably transforms the resoluteness of those promise makers into promise breakers.
Depending on which poll you read, of all the resolutions made,
- 25% are broken in the first week
- 50% fall within three months
- 90% disappear within a year
It appears that we may not be quite as resolved as we thought. So what do we do with our failure? Remember the words of the Psalmist: “he shall not be hurled headlong.” For the person whose heart is to follow after God, there is no failure that is final, or fatal. Forgiveness is always available (1 Jn. 1:9). Restoration is always possible (Gal. 6:1; Js. 5:15). God’s provision is always promised (Mt. 6:26, 28, 34).
How can that be? Because the one whose ambition is to follow hard after God (Ps. 63:8) is sustained by God. Like a father crossing a busy street with his toddler child, God holds his hand. God sustains and supports the righteous. He supports us by His strength and His Word (Ps. 119:116). The issue is not whether I can hang onto Him, but whether He is faithful and able to keep me. He is.
Of one truth you may be certain. In the coming year, you will fail. And as inevitable as that failure is, much more sure is the sustaining grace of God.