TOP

Is It Wrong to Put Hope in a New Year?

Despite all the expectations we put on it, a new year isn’t a blank slate Saviour that will come and wash away the grime of the last year and give us a fresh start.

New Year’s Eve is a time of great joy. In normal, non-Covid circumstances, we gather with loved ones to reflect on the previous year and celebrate all the exciting things that await us in the year to come. We watch the clock as it ticks down to midnight and cheer with one another.

It is one of my favourite holidays, to be honest, as I love reflecting and hoping for exciting new days. But then, much sooner than I expect, life goes back to normal and the new year carries with it all the same problems as the old.

2020 was difficult, and we are already starting to see many of the same problems following us into 2021. Despite all the expectations we put on it, a new year isn’t a blank slate Saviour that will come and wash away the grime of the last year and give us a fresh start.

So what is there to do? Is it so wrong to hope for better things in the future? I don’t think so. In fact, I think hoping and praying for better days to come is what Jesus would want us to do.

In John 17:13, Jesus says, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”  

Jesus says this because He really is the true source of our joy. We can find that joy right now by turning to Him.

Unlike a new year that promises so much and delivers so little, He is our true Saviour, the One who can wash away our past mistakes and give us fresh start.

So whenever we hear discouraging things on the news and see more of our broken world lashing out, let us try to focus on the joy we find in Jesus. As exciting as a new year is, nothing compares to what Jesus promises.

Psalm 16:11: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” 

We don’t know when Jesus will return and set things right in the world, but we can have joy in His presence here and now, every day, if we turn to Him. And when He does return, we can be sure that the new year He brings will be so much better than anything our minds can imagine.

Jonathan Fehr is Director of Digital Communications and Alumni Engagement for TWU Alumni, and host of the TWU Alumni Spotlight podcast. He was born in Saskatoon, S.K., and has also lived in the U.S. and in Guatemala. He currently resides in North Vancouver, B.C.