Finding purpose in the New Year

A Simple Message

“But Daniel purposed in his heart … ” – Daniel 1:8

Perhaps the tale of the lion’s den, maybe the dream of the statue, or even the writing on the wall; in some way or another, we have probably all heard of Daniel in the Holy Bible.

Daniel served as advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar during Israel’s Babylonian captivity, and holds position as one of the “major” prophets of the Old Testament.

Though before any of the accomplishments we most readily associate with Daniel, there was a resolution. As we enter into a new year, the season of resolutions, I thought it’d be fitting to look at an often overlooked resolution from Scripture. In chapter one of Daniel, we find the titular prophet was required to eat Babylonian delicacies to present himself healthy before the King.

Not wanting to defile himself in this way, Daniel makes the resolution to eat only vegetables. In the end, we find that Daniel choosing to place the law of his God, and needs of his people as his resolution allowed him to achieve above and beyond in his goal.

In India, circa 1960, we can find another example of this type of resolution. A man by the name of Dashrath Manjhi lived with his wife in a remote village separated from civilization, and medical care, by a rocky mountain ridge.

One day tragedy struck Dashrath’s wife, and due to the mountain ridge she was unable to receive medical care in time, and sadly passed away.

Following this tragedy, Dashrath made a resolution of his own: He purposed in his heart that with nothing more than the hammer and chisel he owned he would dig a path through the mountain ridge allowing his village faster access to medical care. At first, Dashrath was mocked and called a lunatic for attempting such a thing.

Undeterred, he continued with his resolution; sacrificing his time and energy day after day to achieve something better for his people. In time, his work began to prove itself and the village stopped mocking Dashrath; they even began supporting him with food, water, and tools. Some 20 years later, Dashrath had completed his resolution of digging a 360-foot-long, 30-foot-wide pathway through the ridge.

Now, even after his death, Dashrath’s completed resolution serves the lives of his people in that once isolated village.

Whether we look to Daniel, or to Dashrath, we find one winning recipe to completing a resolution: Find a goal greater than yourself, be willing to face challenges and make sacrifices, and trust God to bless the purpose of your heart with success.

I believe we are all hoping for great things this year. Let us make a resolution that we will make those great things happen.

Jason Shockley is an experienced evangelist and teacher passionate about uplifting others through the word of God. Contact him via email at