What do you hope for in this new year? If you voted for Trump you may be hoping for some changes in our government and hoping America will truly be made great again. If you didn't maybe you are feeling hopeless. Our true hope in this world for the new year does not lie in any man, but in our relationship with Jesus Christ and His promises. No politician or world leader, or UN decisions or anything else can take away the true hope of the new year.
Romans 5:2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Ephesians 1:18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Because we have the light of Christmas, in the coming of our Savior to this world, born into this world miraculously as the God-man, taking on human flesh, taking on Himself our sin, and becoming our Savior, we have the light of hope for whatever this new year brings to us as well. It is out of the joy of that coming, that we look now to the new year. Even as the world grows darker and the hate and violence grows more determined to snuff out that light, His light can never be put out. It is a sure hope. It is a hope that will not be disappointed for all who embrace it and receive it by faith.
What will the new year bring to the world? Only God knows. But His Word tells us His ultimate plan for this world, and how it will end. We have the beginning and the end told to us. How we choose to think and act will be determined by how we treat His Word. To those who embrace it, it is a message of undying hope that is sure, and will produce a genuine joy and peace in the soul. It will determine how you face your circumstances ahead, how you will treat others around you, and what importance you will give to your time with God and your service to Him.
John 1:4-5 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (5) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
We don't have to be overcome if we let that light abide in us daily. It's not the power of a resolution that will sustain us, but the power of His presence in our inner being, guiding and empowering us to walk according to His light. Let us be persuaded all the more then, to be feeding on Him, abiding in Him, and focusing our eyes on Him, as we encounter whatever the new year brings our way. Will we make it a year of selfish pursuits and worldly gain or will we make it a year of pursuing Him and His glory? It challenges me to come before Him and ask Him to work His will in my heart more and more. Paul encouraged the believers to "abound more and more" in all their devotion to and knowledge of God, and in their love for Him and one another (Phil. 1:9; 1 Thess. 3:12). Never are we to settle for where we are at, but to always "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:12)
Because of that hope that the light of the Gospel brought to us, we have the resources in Christ to do this. How appropriate that we celebrate Christmas right before we celebrate the new year. If we take the time to truly meditate on that Gospel of hope and joy, it brings us new strength to face the new year, and a purpose in it. It sets the heart in the right direction. It's the Gospel that propels us into the new year and gives us courage to face it. We always hope for good things ahead, new opportunities, new beginnings and chances to start over in the new year. The Gospel gives us all of that. And if the new year should bring hardship or sorrow, it gives us the hope and assurance we need to face it and conquer it.
My prayer for all of God's children in 2017 is that we will abound more and more, in whatever place we find ourselves, in the knowledge and love of God and to grow in His grace in every part of our lives. My prayer for those who have not yet come to know Him as their Savior is that this will be the year they do, and that they will find the true hope of life that will never fail them.
I also join in with the prayer in Revelation 22:17 - "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Revelation 22:20 - "He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"
May this be the year of Your coming for Your church, Lord Jesus! Titus 2:13 - "waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."
From our house to yours, I hope you all have a blessed new year!