Doreen Wennberg
Blog

Fresh Faith
Thursday, January 4, 2024 by Doreen Wennberg

Happy 2024! Are you off and running into the new year? I hope you had a great start!

Endings and beginnings are a part of life. Something ends, and another starts as we transition from one thing to the next. There is anticipation in both the end and the new beginning.

Looking Back

When we end a year, we hope to end well. Did you?

Did you accomplish more than you had planned? In your health, spiritual life, personal life, or relationships?

Did you gain more wisdom, insight, and faith?

Did your heart grow more compassionate towards others—especially with difficult people or situations?

Did you grow in giving grace to those who wronged or offended you?

Did you become more generous?

Self-evaluation is good, but it’s also hard. It helps us to see where we have improved and where we have fallen short.

When we don’t end well, we long for a do-over. Thankfully, every new day, not just the new year, gives us a chance to start fresh.

Beginning again takes faith.

What areas in your life do you need fresh faith to start over? Is it your health, spiritual life, or relationships?

Time spent alone with God cultivates fresh faith in us. Do you have a specific, uninterrupted time alone with God—every day?

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:1-2.

When your faith seems stagnant, call upon God and spend time with him regularly reading and listening to his word. Talking to God through prayer is great, but prayer and reading God’s word go hand in hand. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. ~Romans 10:17

Keep yourself in a place of hearing from God through reading and listening to his word. Do you ever hit play on a bible app? I love to listen to God’s word as well as read it for myself. Taking in God’s word brings fresh faith.

Did you know that time spent with God every day, also leads us to be aware of sin that can hinder our walk?

Confession is not meant just for Sunday mornings before communion. Daily confession is a necessary part of our relationship with God. Acknowledging sins, wrong thinking, actions, words, or any such things, when confessed—opens the hindered pathway. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Confession is a necessary step in growing in our relationship. Many people miss this step in their spiritual walk.

What steps are you taking to grow closer to God in 2024?

Goals

Renewal and growth occur when we set realistic, clear goals.

Goals - how many times have you heard that word for the new year? Too many to count, right? Why? Because it is a necessary step in achieving the destination.

Everything in life is a discipline—whether it’s physical, spiritual, or relational. All three take time and effort and are learned through discipline. No one becomes disciplined in anything overnight. Small, manageable steps are required to reach our goals.

Establishing goals

Have you taken pen and paper to write down clear goals? Have you asked God to lead you in the direction he wants you to go? If eating healthier, deepening your spiritual life, and building better relationships are on your list—it will take intentional steps on your part.

Start somewhere – don’t set yourself up for failure and expect more than you are capable of. In all disciplines, we must build up to it.

Consistency is key in anything we set out to do. It’s not the length of time we spend doing the thing but doing that thing over and over—starting with short amounts of time.

Exercise: If you can only walk ½ a mile, walk the ½ mile. Aim to increase over time to the mile and beyond. If stretching or strength training for 5 minutes is all you can begin with—start there and aim to increase.

Spiritual walk: Likewise, if 5 or 10 minutes is all that you can do to read and pray, start with that. Don’t make the comparison mistake by looking at the length of time someone else might be doing. Do what you can do, and aim to increase that over time.

What about relationships? Are there any that you need to work on? Everyone has a relationship with someone—married people, family members, in-laws, co-workers. Relationships can be hard to build or rebuild. Why? Because sometimes it means putting others before ourselves.

What one thing can you do for the person in the relationship that you want to work on? Encouragement costs nothing, and everyone can use it! What else can you think of? Can you do something together? Can this person be a workout partner, a prayer partner; or someone who may just enjoy going on an outing—like lunch or a movie? Cultivating relationships takes intentionality—how that looks for each of us will be different.

For the Christian, when you begin with God, building upon your relationship, he will give you renewed and fresh faith for all the other things.

 

Father,

Thank you for another new year. Thank you for quiet times with you to grow our faith. Where we have fallen short in the past, thank you for new opportunities to improve this year. We pray for a fresh filling of faith.  Enable us to move forward in the steps you show us to take. May you be our first priority this year. Show us what changes to make if you have not been. ~In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Share This Blog:



Previous Posts

More Love
Doreen Wennberg
2/8/2024

Kind and Compassionate Kids
Doreen Wennberg
1/25/2024

Plant-Based Food Prep
Doreen Wennberg
1/11/2024

Fresh Faith
Doreen Wennberg
1/4/2024

Happy New Year!
Doreen Wennberg
12/28/2023

Merry Christmas!
Doreen Wennberg
12/21/2023

Last-Minute Gifts? Try Homemade Treats
Doreen Wennberg
12/14/2023

God's Gift to Us
Doreen Wennberg
12/7/2023

Christmas Countdown - Teaching Kids about Advent
Doreen Wennberg
11/30/2023

Happy Thanksgiving!
Doreen Wennberg
11/23/2023

A Harvest of Blessings
Doreen Wennberg
11/16/2023

Giving Thanks Instead of Grumbling, Teaching Kids Gratitude
Doreen Wennberg
11/9/2023

Healthy Holiday Appetizer Ideas
Doreen Wennberg
11/2/2023

When God Tests Us
Doreen Wennberg
10/26/2023

When Kids Get Caught in the Crossfire
Doreen Wennberg
10/19/2023

Lentils—A Hearty Little Staple and A Great Meat Replacer
Doreen Wennberg
10/12/2023

Where's the Fruit? Encouragement when your prayers seem fruitless.
Doreen Wennberg
10/5/2023

Answering Children’s Questions about God
Doreen Wennberg
9/28/2023

The Joys of Fall
Doreen Wennberg
9/21/2023

Encouragement for Hard Seasons
Doreen Wennberg
9/14/2023

Arming Your Children with God’s Truth
Doreen Wennberg
9/7/2023

Did You Know: Love for Sugar can be Detrimental to Your Health?
Doreen Wennberg
8/31/2023

Loving Others Part 2
Doreen Wennberg
8/24/2023

Help your child adjust & thrive during the new school year, 3 tips for navigating success
Doreen Wennberg
8/17/2023

Did You Know: Fiber has a lot of benefits?
Doreen Wennberg
8/10/2023

Loving Others: Living Christ's Call in Our Lives Part 1
Doreen Wennberg
8/3/2023

Batter Up!
Doreen Wennberg
7/27/2023

Embracing Healthy Eating to Nourish and Strengthen Your Body
Doreen Wennberg
7/20/2023

Toxic Environments, Finding Strength in God's Word
Doreen Wennberg
7/13/2023

Practical, Easy Steps to Share Your Faith, and Teach Your Kids About Jesus
Doreen Wennberg
7/6/2023

Challenges of Healthy Eating in Social Settings
Doreen Wennberg
6/29/2023

Identity
Doreen Wennberg
6/22/2023

Do Children know they matter?
Doreen Wennberg
6/15/2023

Growing in Faith and Bearing Fruit
Doreen Wennberg
6/8/2023

Convenience
Doreen Wennberg
6/1/2023