How do you begin the New Year? Do you start with a bolt of motivation, ready to tackle the goals you have set for yourself? Do you begin with anticipation, hoping that this year will be the year that one prayer will be answered? Or do you start with pain because you are bringing into the new year what you have been carrying the previous year?
To be honest, I begin the New Year feeling a bit depressed. I feel as if my joy has been packed away with my Christmas tree, and I struggle to find something to look forward to since the Christmas season is over. And unlike those who start with motivation, I start with anxiety. The new year in front of me feels scary more than exciting, and I worry about what is in store and if I’m able to handle what is ahead.
Even though this is a regular occurrence, I have learned that Scripture meets me in these emotions and feelings. And Scripture meets you in your current emotions and feelings as well. So whether you begin the year with motivation, excitement, pain, or anxiety, God’s Word gives you the encouragement you need to enter the New Year with hope, joy, and contentment.
New Mercies for the New Year
Lamentations 3:22–23 tells us, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!” God’s mercies refer to His loving kindness and grace. God’s mercies are something that we do not deserve. We are all sinners who need God’s mercy but are undeserving of His mercy. Yet as believers, we are given God’s mercy and promised to receive God’s continual mercies.
This gift of new mercies is given to us through Christ. Through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we receive grace and mercy that covers our sins, frees us from the punishment of our sins, and brings us into a permanent relationship with the Lord. Because we are forgiven through Christ, we have God’s grace now and for all eternity. This means that we never have to fear the Lord removing His mercy and grace from us. If we are in Christ, God’s mercies never end. They are new every morning.
If God’s mercies are new every morning, God’s mercies are new every year. The grace that God gave us the previous year carries into this new year and will continue all the way through. Such truth is rooted in God’s constant faithfulness. God is a faithful Father who continues to pour out His grace over His children. Because God’s mercies are connected to His faithfulness, we never have to fear that our struggles and our circumstances will keep His mercies from flowing. Through every joy, pain, trial, or trouble this year may bring, God will be faithful. He will carry us through whatever we may face this year, promising to cover every month, week, day, and minute with His grace.
What God’s Faithfulness Means to Us
While God promises to be faithful to us, this does not mean that we will receive exactly what we want and hope for this year. The prayer we may desire God to answer this year may remain unanswered or will be answered in a way we did not expect. Our perfectly crafted goals for this year may fall through. The pain we carry into this new year may remain for longer than we would like. If you’re like me, anxious and depressive feelings may still rear their ugly heads at times. Even still, God will be faithful to us. He will be faithful to give us what we need to persevere in every situation.
Therefore, we can approach this new year with hope, joy, and contentment, no matter our current circumstances. Knowing that God’s mercies will be given to us every day this year helps us to trust the Lord and rest in His grace. We may not know exactly what is in store, but we know the God who is with us.
We know that we have a faithful Father who will be with us in every high and low moment of this year. He will not abandon us. He will not let go of our hand. He will not stop loving us. The same God who was with us last year is the same God who is with us this year. So let us trust in the Lord and depend on Him no matter how we may be feeling this new year. God’s grace remains the same every year, so let us rest in His grace and confidently step forward into this year.
Additional Resources for the New Year