Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year?

2015 has begun. We are nearly a week into it. Many friends have told you they hope it will be a happy one. The newness will soon wear off, but you will keep hoping that it will be just that kind of year. But will it?

Good decisions matter and often bear good fruit, but there is much about the next 360 days or so that are completely out of our control. If you have lived a few years, you know from experience how unpredictable life can be. There will likely be some pleasant surprises and some nice developments. But also, accidents happen, people are diagnosed with chronic diseases, jobs are lost, loved ones die. Bad things come out of the blue.

Happy New Year! Are we just wishing each other good luck? Are we just the recipients or victims of circumstances? Is it silly to say with the poet, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul?”

My guess is that the new year will be like a lot of others--a mixture of “good” and “bad.” Whether it is a “happy” year is probably not the issue. More important will be the perspective we maintain through the highs and the lows. Whatever happens, God will be near (Philippians 4:5b). He will be present and at work (Romans 8:28) and he will be faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9). That being true, everyone who seeks to do God’s will can look forward to a year of growing and being blessed regardless of the turn of events.

Wish me a Happy New Year? It’s a pleasant cultural greeting. I’ll smile and thank you. But better still: Pray for me to seek first God’s rule and reign every day in 2015.


  1. Amen!! Well said and great perspective. I'd much rather give God the reigns and trust in Him, while faithfully obeying his rule and reign, than try to be the master of my own fate in 2015!!

  2. The reference to 1 Cor. 1:18 should be 1 Corinthians 1:9. The year starts needing grace! ;)

  3. Thanks Tom. For me, I'm starting the year seeing it as an adventure of faith. My faith challenge is not about believing what God can do, but accepting what he does or allows in my life and to trust that he is with me every step of the way working all things together for my spiritual and eternal good (Romans 8:28-30). I pray we will all focus on seeking first his kingdom and righteousness, enjoying both the "ups" and "downs" as they come and giving God the glory he deserves.

  4. People ask whether you have made your resolutions yet, I say "I don't do those things." When Jesus is Lord, resolutions are an everyday occurence. Yes, let's live out the year under God's reign and rule, knowing full well, no matter what happens, He's got it.

  5. Sounds much like 2 Corinthians. 5:9 is your (our) New Years resolution daily. And for me that's still a tall order. Thank God for grace. I needed this article. I like you share a disability and being a former occupational minister. A car accident in Dec 2009 has left me an incomplete quad. I have made mistakes and missed opportunities that I must accept forgiveness for and focus on today. Pray that God will open doors , give me better discernment, and that I have the faith to follow. Thanks, Steve.