Summary: So we must be resolved in 2015 not by our own power but by the secret power of God to give us the boldness of faith to stand firm against the unbelieving world in which we live.
I like to start each New Year thinking about a quote that goes like this…”may all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions”.
For many of us our New Year’s resolutions will be short lived and this quote suggests that if that is the case than our troubles will also be short lived.
Unfortunately trouble is something that is unavoidable and we do not control its timing.
But we can still find ways of facing it should it come in 2015 by taking in today’s scripture passage.
See how St. Paul put it to his listeners. “I am resolved” he says in verse 2. It is from that word that we get resolutions.
Resolved means: to be firmly determined – bold – steady - Webster Dictionary.
The first thing Paul does is give us a list of his attributes – kind of like a list from a resume of a job seeker. His attributes are anything but firm or bold or steady – they are quite the opposite
#1. I lacked eloquence – my speech is nothing special.
#2. No superior wisdom – not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
#3. All I really know is Jesus Christ and how He died on the cross for me and you.
#4. I felt so inadequate to tell you the things of God that I actually trembled as I spoke to you.
#5. I lacked the proper words to tell you the good news about Jesus but God’s Holy Spirit spoke over my own voice.
#6. God did this so that you would be more impressed with what the Holy Spirit had to say than anything that I might say.
You might wonder how Paul got the job as Pastor to this church based on his weaknesses.
The Bible tells us that God takes the weaknesses we possess and turns them into strengths that we never knew were in us. 2 Corinthians 12:9
9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Through the power of God and by His grace we can become resolved.
Again Paul stresses this for us as he mentions that the wisdom of men and this world pale in comparison to the power of God.
All of this world’s wisdom cannot equip us to be resolved – to stand firmly and confidently by faith.
No, only the “secret wisdom of God” can give us the kind of resolve we will need to face 2015.
This secret wisdom is revealed to us by God through His Holy Spirit.
The world leaders both past and present have too often failed to understand this secret wisdom.
It was hidden from them because they did not know where to look.
But you and I know where to look.
We look to Jesus.
It was Jesus who promised to give us the Spirit of God as our counselor.
John 15:16-17 NIV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
It is when we live in the Spirit that the mind of Christ is alive in us.
When we live like that God gives us the spiritual resolve to overcome everything – even a New Year filled with unknown trouble and opportunity.
So we must be resolved in 2015 not by our own power but by the secret power of God to give us the boldness of faith to stand firm against the unbelieving world in which we live.
When we do this a beautiful thing happens and we begin to think like Jesus thinks.
We acquire the mind of Christ through the Spirit of God.
Romans 12:2 tells us:
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ the world will assault you in 2015.
It will assault your spirit, your mind, and your strength because the world is at war with the things of God.
You dear ones, are God’s own children and for that reason you can be resolved to know that the love of the Father will equip you throughout 2015.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 KJV