In spite of every indication that there are difficult times ahead, I’m excited about this new year! I’m enthusiastic about striving for new goals and pushing myself beyond what I think I’m capable of. The noun “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word enthousiasmos, from enthous, meaning “possessed by a god, inspired.” And interestingly, it was originally used in a derogatory sense to describe excessive religious zeal.
Sure, I’m not raring to jump out of bed every morning. I struggle with doubts and fears about my life and the world at large. But ultimately my joy stands on a foundation that cannot be rocked by bags under my eyes, or missed deadlines, or family disagreements, or loss of friends, or lack of work or play.
I want to be known as enthusiastic and possessed by God! I want to be seen as zealous for the cause of Christ—excited and fervent about my faith, morals, and convictions. The world is in desperate need of men and women who reach for a higher vision than everyday monotony—the drudge and mediocrity of a weary and frustrated life. Our planet is slipping into collective despair and hopelessness—not to mention ecologically declining at a terrifying rate—and there’s seemingly no way to prevent either curve from reaching the point of no return.
In the midst of these dreary prospects, I want to be a light that burns with hope—not my hope, but the hope of the One who makes all things new. I plan to be generous with love, kindness, and positivity. I want God’s Spirit dwelling fully in me. Because if God dwells in me, then there’s no need to be hopeless.
I want to believe that there isn’t a point of no return, because Christ made all things new. I can be enthusiastic, full of God, and overflowing with inspiration, because through Him, I have the ability to change things!
It’s a new year, full of fresh opportunity. Let us not wait a moment more before starting to change the world for the better—right where we are, and most enthusiastically.
If you’d like to experience the “joy of the Lord,”1 start by sincerely praying a simple prayer like the following:
Thank You, Jesus, for paying the price for my sins, mistakes, and wrongs, so I can be forgiven, put my past behind me, and look forward to the future with enthusiasm. I ask You now to please come into my heart and grant me Your gift of eternal life. Amen.
1. See Nehemiah 8:10.