Ahh.. New Year’s Eve!
With the beginning of a new year comes the motivation to start something new! We all know the feeling and excitement that a blank canvas has to offer. We picture the possibilities, buy our planners, imagine the accomplishments we will fulfill in the coming season, and make plans for future endeavors. We often pick a word or phrase with the intention to encapsulate the coming year’s trajectory of improvements. We all want a fresh start – to leave behind the mistakes, struggles, and sufferings of the previous year. I know when I gaze out on the precipice of a new year, I envision a healthier, wiser, more in control woman.
This wishing and hoping isn’t just a woman thing, a secular thing, a Christian thing – but a human thing. We see the possibility of betterment and dive in head-first saying “Goodbye!” to the failures of the previous year.
While this thought pattern and expectation may be naive or rose-colored, it is a clue to what our deepest desire is – renewal and righting of things gone wrong, a shedding of the old yucky stuff that has attached itself to us over the previous year. Yes, but the reality of it goes deeper.
You wonder why every year you hope for new and better? It’s not merely from the previous year’s failures or disappointments – it comes from within us, not something that’s merely infected an otherwise good mind and body. We are so enamored with the possibilities of the future, because we need a new future. We long for this new future. So, let me tell you of a solution.
Instead of the typical, “I will do better at x, y, and z” (which are most likely good habits to develop), let’s stop the endless cycle before it begins again in 2020. Let me remind you or tell you for the first time, what (or rather, whom) 2020 can really be renewed by:
His name is Jesus.
Jesus is the only begotten Son of God – the second person in the Trinity – the one who made all things and through all things were made.
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:3
God, who created the universe, you and I, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, can create in you a new heart. Did you know that the yucky stuff that was a part of last year isn’t our biggest problem? Our biggest problem is that we rejected the Creator and worship things in his place.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images of mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles”
– Romans 1: 21-23
Yes, we all worship – ourselves, our careers, our dreams and aspirations, etc., but none of these things are worthy of worship. So while God created us out of an overflow of his own Divine qualities and glory, we fashioned for ourselves broken cisterns that hold no water and crafted idols of created things. But God did something miraculous and extraordinary! He took on flesh and lived in perfect obedience on our behalf.
He didn’t just give us an example to follow, he earned our righteousness for us and willingly went to the cross – taking the punishment for all our sin. Defeating death, he rose again and now intercedes for the saints(believers). Isn’t that incredible?
We are stained with sin, corrupted at the heart, so no matter how many new years we have left on this Earth, we can’t – of ourselves – create something new and truly better. But, by believing and trusting in the work of Christ, he can! He can change you completely. Not only does he start a good work in you, but he brings the work in us to completion (dissimilar to how we often start resolutions only to quit them two months in)!
“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 1:6
So, I admonish you this year, don’t fret about with mere self-improvement. Don’t try to accomplish some kind of renewal that only Christ can accomplish. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you can solve your real problem with a little kale, more books, or positive thinking. Trust in Christ this year. Submit to Christ’s word this year. Believe on Him for salvation and know that he will never fail. Once your real problem is solved, you will be made new, you will be entering a new year with real, lasting, change.
Happy New year!