It’s already a new year?! 2024! I can hardly believe it! It seems as though we were all just ringing in the new year of 2023. I think I have a complicated relationship with New Year’s. I think it tends to be one of those “truths in tension” as my friend Abi calls it.
I love getting a new planner and wall calendar. I love looking forward to the events and gatherings to come, new friends to be made, and new dreams to be dreamed and realized. New years are filled with infinite possibilities and high levels of hope. Sounds great, right?
So here is where the tension lies: all of those aspects of a new year are exciting, but there is also something about a new year that brings a tinge of regret. I reflect on the past year and regret some of the things I did and didn’t do, dreams yet to be accomplished, words spoken and unspoken.
For me, 2023 was a whirlwind of highs and lows. Life took me for a ride. Tighter budgets, health challenges, traveling, pursuing my passions, church life, gaining friends, and losing them. See? It’s a lot. And that’s not even including all of the world events we’ve all been walking through together.
My walk with the Lord has also had its fair share of ups and downs . . . seasons of intimacy and seasons of wilderness and everything in between. I’m sure many of you have faced trials, hardships, successes, and wins. Joys and sorrows often transpire hand in hand.
God has shifted my perspective over the final weeks of 2023. I want this new year to be different. I don’t want to walk in regret or lament over all of the disappointments. I want to stand upon the firm foundation of His truth and promises. I want to learn, grow, and be refined. I want to see this past year through His viewpoint and with the hope that only Jesus brings.
I often forget that with every rise of the sun and every turn of a calendar year, our God is the same. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes. He never fails. He never wavers.
When the chaos of life surrounds us, God is the sure and steadfast anchor of our souls. He is our solid rock when the storms of life rage around us. He is our strong tower of protection against the enemy.
When the world and people promise to deliver but fall short, He never does. He is faithful to keep His covenant promises. He does not lie and is true to His Word.
One of my favorite verses about God’s faithfulness is found in 2 Timothy 2:12-13. Here we find a few of God’s responses to our actions. If we do this, then God will do that. Verse 13 is the best news for us in our flawed humanity: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful — for He cannot deny Himself.”
Everything about the nature and activity of God is faithful. Faithful is who He is and what He does. Our goal should be to live lives pleasing and acceptable to a Holy God. But, when we are prone to wander away, He is faithful to pursue us. When we fall into or choose to sin, He is faithful to hear our confession and lavish us with His forgiveness.
Jesus is called Faithful and True according to Revelation 19:11. His faithfulness never depends on us or our circumstances. His faithfulness is attached to His character — not ours. Oh, what beautiful news for us, His daughters. We don’t have to strive for God to be faithful to us. We get to rest in who He loves being to us.
I am trusting in our good and faithful Father this year. He is the faithful One that can redeem any situation and mend all things broken. He restores our hope. How great is His faithfulness!
Is the new year filling you with regret or hope? How do you need God to show Himself faithful to you?