Reasons To Have Hope You’ll Change

The New Year always offers hope for a new start, hope for change. So on Dec. 31, many people make daring resolutions to do things like run 18 miles a day, floss before, during and after meals, and quit listening to Barry Manilow.  Years ago I abandoned making audacious New Years’ resolutions, because I have the willpower of a famished hyena face to face with a medium rare sirloin steak.

Yet I have hope to change.  Because I have an iron will and incredible self-discipline?  Nope.  My hope for change is Christ.  If you’re a believer, Jesus is your hope too.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • Because the Father loves you so much he gave his one and only Son to save you.  If the Father loves you that much, surely he’ll help you change.
  • Because the Son the Father gave you is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and the Prince of Peace who cares for you like an Everlasting Father (IS 9).  Jesus employs all his amazing attributes for you.
  • Because God will get glory by transforming you.
  • Because God has predestined you to be conformed to the image Christ (RO 8.29).
  • Because God has promised to complete the good work he began in you (PHP 1.6).
  • Because the Holy Spirit will produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in your life.
  • Because Jesus’ rule in your life will keep increasing and advancing (IS 9.7).
  • Because Jesus himself is interceding for you day and night (HE 7.25).

We should use all God’s means of grace to grow – reading and meditating on Scripture, prayer, fellowship, worship, communion.  But our hope for change is our mighty Savior, not ourselves.  So take courage – Jesus is at work in you!

photo by ali edwards

  • Bob

    Mark, Thanks for the post. I do hope to continue to change each and every day and become more like Christ with dispensing grace, love, wisdom, etc… The daily challenges of relying on Him and not on my own ability and knowledge is one of my greatest challenges. Thanks again and may you have a blessed New Year.

  • Wendy

    I have always hated New Year’s resolutions because they always seemed to be promises that are made to be broken. Secretly I think that it is more because I know that I cannot keep any resolution that I might make. But if I change my perspective (from running 18 miles a day to putting to death a sin) and the place that I am getting the power from (my own puny efforts to the all-powerful God of the Universe) then it puts a whole new spin on it. By the power of God I can change. I can have hope for change becuase my loving Heavenly Father wants to help me become more like His Son. That gives so much hope!!

  • YellerDaisies

    Thanks for the past three posts. They’ve been so encouraging and helpful.
    I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. Left to myself I don’t want to change a thing. But, in Christ all things are possible. Thanks for the reminder of Who works the change and Who has the power. My favorite thing to do on New Year’s Eve is to think how I was this time last year. What things has God changed? How am I more like Him now, then I was then. It typically is a pretty incredible and faith-producing activity. Many little things add up in a year. Small things that others may not even know or notice. But, I do. It really builds my faith in my all-powerful God. It makes me look forward to what He’ll do in my life in the coming year!

  • Emily

    thank you for this post. it was very encouraging.

  • Ron Reffett

    Thank you Mark for such an encouraging post to close out 2008!
    I am so thankful that God doesn’t expect us to have iron wills and incredible self discipline, if we did then we wouldn’t need Him like we do. I really needed to hear these truths today, I’m so thankful that even though i screw it up time and time again, God is so very faithful and is most glorified when I am most satisfied in Him. I’m looking forward to a transforming 2009!
    Thanks again for the greatly encouraging words that you and Stephen place here, I’m really thankful for you both! I hope that you guys have a blessed New Year’s celebration, Here’s to an awesome 2009!
    Ron Reffett

  • Megan Liz

    Thank you so much for this post–I can’t say how encouraging it is to me! It gives me a whole new perspective on the word “change”…something I’ll try to remember for all of 2009 and longer.

  • Rachel Dulaney

    Mark, thank you so much for the post. I’ve been struggling over the last few days to believe that I can change, but Christ is the one that will change in me. It is not of me at all! Thanks and happy new years!

  • Mark Altrogge

    Dear Friends,

    Thank you all for taking the time to encourage Stephen and me through your kind words. Your thoughtfulness and comments are very meaningful to us.

    Hey Bob,

    So true. I regularly slip into relying on my own strength and abilities as well – I’m so glad to know that Jesus can even change us in the area of relying on ourselves. Have a great New Year!


    Great insight – I really like the way you put it – “change my perspective (from running 18 miles a day to putting to death a sin) and the place that I am getting the power from (my own puny efforts to the all-powerful God of the Universe)”. Isn’t it wonderful to have such hope for change? Happy New Year!


    I like your idea of looking back to see where God has changed you! Everyone should regularly do this. “Many little things add up in a year. Small things that others may not even know or notice.” Brilliant!


    Thanks! I’m grateful God would use our peewee efforts to encourage you.

    Hey Ron,

    Amen! I too am “looking forward to a transforming 2009!” Thank you for all your encouraging comments! Happy New Year!

    Thanks so much Megan. I’m so glad the Lord would use the post to encourage you.

    Hey Rachel,

    You are so welcome! Jesus is definitely going to change you! Keep trusting him as you are! Happy New Year!

  • Trillia

    Your analogies are so funny Mark! Most of all this post helped encourage me to draw strength and grace from God for the tasks ahead of me this year!! I have a little reading challenge going on with some friends (and new ones who are just joining in on the fun). We are mostly moms challenging ourselves to read 1 book per month this year! I’m really looking forward to it! I believe God will help me and I look forward to learning more about Him through the books I read.

    Stephen- I got your book! Thanks so much and thanks for writing a little note.

    Happy New Year!!

  • Mark Altrogge

    Hi Trillia!

    Great to hear from you. I’m grateful the Lord would encourage you. I think a book a month is a great goal. You’ll learn a lot about the Lord through that exercise. Hope you and your family have a great year!

  • Sara

    Hey Mark and Stephen,

    I bookmarked this entry because I wanted to look back at it and remember what my hope for change should be directed to and set upon. Thanks again for this post.


  • Mark Altrogge

    Thanks Sara!