For most people, despite all the celebration of a year ending and another beginning, the turning of the calendar doesn’t really bring anything new. After the champagne buzz fades, they find themselves still facing the same problems, struggles, and difficulties they did last week. Even if they’ve resolved to change for the better (I’ll stop smoking, stop yelling at the kids, eat better, and exercise more), they soon find that nothing in them has changed. And if left to themselves and dependent on their own willpower and best effort, nothing ever will. The desire for a fresh, new start, and the peace and relief it should bring is universal in the human experience—that’s why there was such boisterous celebration around the world Friday night. But almost as universal is the letdown of realizing that peace and newness eluded you for yet another holiday season.
Is there anything that can give us the fresh start and deliverance from past aches, mistakes, and broken hearts that we all seek? Is there anything that can truly change us from the inside out, while also improving the circumstances of our life and surroundings?
There is one and only one. And thankfully, it is not dependent on the time of the year. Coming into a right relationship with God is something He offers to you every day, every moment, including now. You may have heard that being saved or born again will let you go to heaven instead of hell. That’s true, but that isn’t all of the benefit you’ll get from trusting Christ as your Savior. When you become a follower of Christ, you immediately receive a right relationship with the God who made you. All of your sins are erased forever. And the complete healing of every pain the sins of others have caused you begins. A new life of blessing begins. Your prayers will from then on be heard, so that you’re not just talking to a God who doesn’t really seem to be there. And He begins to guide your life, so that everything in the here and now goes better than it did before. Trials and tragedies decrease; and when they do come, you have a strength within you from God’s presence there that helps you endure and thrive in spite of the hardships that previously would have destroyed you. See for yourself—He makes all things new. And your celebration won’t just last for an evening, but for an eternity.
Christ died for your sins, and rose from the dead. That means the debt you owe God for your rebellion against Him has already been paid. And trusting in Him now, you can receive complete forgiveness and newness of life that will never be taken away. The all-powerful Creator and Controller of the universe will be your father, your friend, your provider, your guide, your protector, and your helper, from now on and forever.
Happy New Year? Not merely that. Happy New Always!