Another New Year is quickly approaching. Soon, we will close out the year 2016 and usher in a new one of 2017. All of the events that have occurred this past year, both joys and hardships, will become a thing of the past. Things to be treasured, remembered, and potentially avoided again. New goals will be set and new hopes and dreams will be placed on the forefront of our minds in the anticipation of this coming change. A New Year full of promise, full of hope, full of expectation and wonder.
It is with the coming of a brand New Year that I share with you this quote: “Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.” This was stated by renowned talk show host Oprah Winfrey. Now, if you’re at all like me in my thinking, you can relate to Oprah’s thinking and processing in regards to humanity’s aspirations for a New Year. How many of us buy into this reality in our day-to-day living and thinking? How many of us see or hear something like this and are held captive to this idea that this New Year or this new day is another opportunity for us to do better, to get it right, like it depends on us? I know I can think that way. I can start counting good days and bad days and dwell on how much I have messed up or regret decisions that I made or did not make. I can dwell on the hope of a new fresh start tomorrow, only to find myself sinking right back into more poor choices, wrong decisions, and sin. That can be a discouraging truth.
The real truth is that I desperately crave and need a new start and a new beginning each day, but it is not a new start that is dictated or decided by me. I need to continuously be drawn back again and again to a Savior who loves me, died for me, and daily renews me by His Spirit. This Savior ushers in more than just a New Year, He gives you and me a new reality. This is a reality that we indeed have ultimate forgiveness for the sin and rebellion that we daily commit against God. This is a reality that we are loved more than we can possible imagine. This is a reality that we are claimed as children of God gifted with a hope for a future eternity with Him. When I grasp and realize that, that makes a difference in how I process a New Year. This new reality gives me hope and encouragement because, while I will never be able to “get it right,” I serve a God who got it right for me on my behalf. It is this gift that allows you and me to live in the freedom that His grace brings to us. May God fill you with a renewed knowledge of His love for you in this coming New Year.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette