I’ve heard New Year’s described as the worst holiday. There are moments that I am inclined to agree. January first is heralded as a beacon of hope, a time to begin afresh.
But what if there is nothing new about this New Year?
I think, at some level, we are all afraid of this. We look back on the past year, or maybe many years, and we wince a little, because it hurt. And we’re scared that we’ll keep hurting. Scared that the relationships, the finances, the fill-in-the-blank hard circumstance will stay the same. Scared, also, that we will stay the same, full of faults and fears and powerless to make a change. This fear can make cynicism feel safer than hope. We don’t want to be disappointed again, so we give up hope, and stop expecting that this year will be any different.
But friend, I dare you to hope!
Hard things never last forever. Failure is not final, pain is not permanent, and sin never has the last say. I’m sure there are things in your life at this very moment that you wish were different. I know, because there are things in my life that I wish were different. I have a list, and if I’m not careful, I get stuck there. But we are not stuck there! Rom. 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I’m not saying the hard thing is good, and I can’t say when it will end, but I can promise you that it has a purpose and that purpose is good.
Maybe New Year’s will never be your favorite holiday, and that’s fine. Just remember that God’s mercies are new every day, and dare to hope in that.