I am sure that for millennia, those with faith and those with none start each New Year with a renewed sense of hope. They hope that their struggles can be consigned to history and that the New Year will bring with it new opportunities. Yet as we all know, things do not always go to plan. Indeed, each New Year not only brings with it new opportunities, but also new challenges, temptations and struggles of its own.
In light of this, I want to share with you an insight from Jeremiah. While mourning over the “fall” of Jerusalem, the Prophet says “my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope” (Lamentations 3:20-21). Please notice that. Rather than being overwhelmed by the devastation that surrounds him, Jeremiah starts to take responsibility for his own thoughts and feelings. He then continues and exclaims: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (21-22).
Isn’t that wonderful? Praise God that just like the prophet, we need not wait another fifty one weeks for a fresh start or a new beginning. Rather, each of us can take responsibility, not to simply look around, but to look up to the One whose love is daily lavished upon us, whose grace is ever abounding, whose compassion is constant and whose faithfulness is fresh every morning. Doesn’t that give you hope?
Yours in Him, Gareth