Should we “hope” in the new year?
There’s a lot to hope for in the New Year, so what is the best thing to put our hope in?
“A new year is just a number but a relationship with Jesus makes all kinds of changes in your life”
A wonderful thing about the new year is everything has an air of “newness.” Simply writing down the date or checking the calendar and you’ll find a new number. Or perhaps after the winter festivities there’s a new dog in the home or a new ring on someone’s left hand.
The new year always has newness, and for the Christian, a simple question is, should we put our hope in “new?”
The Bible has all kinds of references to new. Surely new can be a good thing!
But on the flip side…I remember my dad always saying to never buy the new edition of a car. Or friends who cautioned me about buying a newly built house. Or articles that caution new, untested technology.
In fact I remember when I got a great deal on some new camera gear from a brand new company trying to make a name for themselves. It boasted professional caliber quality at an entry-level price. And the best part, it was true! I was able to get great video footage. At least until I watched the camera battery literally explode and catch on fire while filming costing me a thousand dollars.
So maybe “new” isn’t always everything it’s cracked up to be?
I’d like to encourage you to not put your hope simply in the “new” or the “new year” but to instead put your hope into the one “making all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
A new year is just a number but a relationship with Jesus makes all kinds of changes in your life:
1. Hope for a Future
The winter months in Colorado bring chilly days and dark nights. It’s all too easy for us to catch a case of seasonal depression or just feel burdened by the weightiness of circumstances in our lives—that one can happen anytime of year! In Jesus you can trust that he is working for your good in the present and in the future!
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
2. Hope for a New Heart
If we understand “heart” to mean the seat of our desires and dreams, then we can be encouraged that our desires and yearnings, longings and dreams are all made new as well! The parts of us that feel scarred from the broken dreams, or injured from plans that have come crumbling down are healed. We don’t have to spend our lives with emotional walls fortified in place to protect us from being hurt again—Jesus is giving you a new heart!
26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
3. Hope for New Purpose
One of my favorite moments in the Bible is when Jesus arrives to speak with several fisherman and invites them to join a world-changing adventure—a mission to save the world. It would require these young men to surrender comforts, security, and stability for a life with a new purpose that exceeded their wildest imaginations. Even if in their past they were “simple fisherman” a lowly job in their culture, Jesus has a new purpose for them with extreme significance! And when your heart is united with Jesus, rest assured, you have a new purpose in your life as well!
19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
There’s even more new to be expected from a relationship with Jesus but I think you get the point. This new year, we don’t need to put our hope in some mystical, imagination of a new year, instead, confidently put your hopes into the ONE making all things new—Jesus!
10 more new things from Jesus! Yay!
Forgiveness of Sins:
- Ephesians 1:7 (NIV) – “In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
- John 3:3 (NIV) – “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'”
Adoption into God’s Family:
- Galatians 4:4-7 (NIV) – “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”
- John 10:28 (NIV) – “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Peace with God:
- Romans 5:1 (NIV) – “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Transformation of Character:
- Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”
Freedom from Condemnation:
- Romans 8:1 (NIV) – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Purpose and Calling:
- Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Empowerment by the Holy Spirit:
- Acts 1:8 (NIV) – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Hope in Trials:
- Romans 5:3-5 (NIV) – “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”