The word “resolution” betrays itself right from the start.

It sounds like a new beginning, but it promises an end — a “resolving” of things that are broken — the hope of being perfect and finished — the assurance that we can bring conclusion to ourselves.

In Colossians 2:2, Paul makes a resolution for the Colossians, too, revealing his great hope “that their hearts may…reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ…”

The “riches of full assurance” Paul longs for these Christians to reach is from the word plerophoreo, which means “made complete, entirely accomplished, carried through to the finish.”

Like all Christ-resolutions, Paul’s doesn’t start with a new beginning, it begins with the end.

We who proclaim the gospel find our true resolutions in the knowledge that all things have already been resolved. Self-assurance has nothing to do with self at all, but everything to do with Christ. He’s accomplished it. He’s carried it out fully. He’s won. Resolution isn’t something that we have to strive harder to reach, year after year. It’s done; past tense. We reach the riches of full assurance by simply catching up to the truth.

Oh, we who are beat down by our failures! We long to display Jesus through our perfection, but He shines His grace through the holes of our mistakes. We crave victory, but His strength is made perfect through our weakness. We think it best to be rich and proud and triumphant but He blesses the meek, the humble, the persecuted. We serve a Christ who revealed His glory through the blind, the poor, the lame — even the dead.

God doesn’t use us best when we’re better. He uses us best when we trust Him to use our brokenness.

Last year, for the first time really, I took the things I wanted to change about myself and shakingly presented them to God, poorly-wrapped sorrows and dissatisfactions that I offered for Him to use as He wished. I asked Him to help me let go of the kind of victory that pointed to me and to search for the victory that pointed to the Christ who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

It was terrifying.

And if anything, God has laid many of my faults more bare. But I have also seen Him use them in both shocking and quiet ways to frame His grace for me and for others. He has stretched them into beautiful strings that tie me to Him in ways I did not expect. He is fashioning them into peace — showing me the depths of both His care for me and His “couldn’t care less” about my failures.

I have glimpsed the beauty of Jesus in the ashes of me.

So I rejoice in my weaknesses because they proclaim the Savior who loved me in spite of them and died for me because of them. The One who has triumphed over hell and the grave is not leaning hard on my victory in the new year.

Through Him, my greatest problem has already been solved — all my resolutions have already been kept.

That is God’s mystery, which is the Christ, the One who has resolved all things.

Read the next post in The Colossians Project.