New Year’s Day is a day of new beginnings. A brand-new year lies fully ahead, with all the hopes and expectations it brings. The calendar has reset, and we are a few hours away from all the holiday parties being over.
Many who have imbibed on a few too many sweets are glad about that. Others will be sad, as the last of the year’s big holidays come to a close.
For my family, 2022 held a more painful tone, as both my wife and I lost parents this past year. And we are not alone, because we are in that age group where such transitions have to be anticipated. The good news is this: Though we have experienced grief in this last year, as believers we mourn with hope in our hearts. Truly, there is always hope, even for those in the darkest of hours.
I have a pastor friend in Indiana who always loved considering what he called “Bible numerology.” He studied the numbers that are frequently described in Scriptures, such as the number 7, which always seem to project perfection or completeness. The number 40 always marks a trial or a period of testing.
According to my friend’s thinking, the number that applies to this very day would be the number 8, which represents a new beginning. Logically, every Sunday is the new beginning of another week, a fresh time to put the things that weren’t accomplished last week on today’s to-do list, and then set out to get the work completed.
What new beginnings do you face today? For many, the usual diet or exercise goals are at the top of their lists. For others, the desire to honor God by reading through the Bible in a year takes first place. Still others will be planning ways to see breakthroughs in relationships, either among family members, work places, or friends.
No matter what you have as aspirations, there is one thing that every believer in Christ can adopt as their starting place: Faith in the One whom John the Revelator heard say, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5 ESV). It is no wonder that only God could say that, for only God could do that. We lack the power or ability to change our own hearts, but God can do anything, and that includes helping us make the desired and needed changes in this coming 12 months.
Whether your new year is starting off the way you had hoped or not, the days ahead hold the same opportunities for us all. It is indeed a time of new beginnings, a time to hope, and a time to reach out to our faithful God, the One who makes all things new.