Really Good Reasons to Look Forward to This New Year

Even in your toughest moments throughout 2024, God is working all things together for good. He’s prepared good works for you to do this year. And He’s the giver of all the good gifts your new year holds.
Even in your toughest moments throughout 2023, God is working all things together for good. He’s prepared good works for you to do this year. And He’s the giver of all the good gifts your new year holds.

When it comes to starting a new year, many people fall into one of two categories: some people love a new year, other people hate it.

Yet others, like myself, waffle between the two. 

For years, I loved the fresh start and promise a new year brought. This was my chance to start over! This was my opportunity to make some much-needed changes! Of course, I could choose to start exercising or eating healthy or trying any other improvement on March 29 or July 7 or October 16. But January 1 seemed like a perfect time.

Once I began to accurately and honestly see that I was making the same annual plans each January, I realized I wasn’t making resolutions or even goals – I merely pinpointed my weaknesses and flaws and hoped I could change. Once that happened, New Year’s seemed laughable. What difference did the date on the calendar make? If I wasn’t going to change, why even try?

And after New Year’s Eve 2019, when I watched throngs of people on TV getting so excited about a new decade – and then 2020 began to unfold, I began to experience the fear and dread that New Year’s Eve and Day could bring. If the unthinkable happened in 2020, what would 2021 bring? Should I be afraid to start 2022?

A realization for the new year

After several years of disillusionment, New Year’s Day 2023 brought a bit of apathy. I neither dreaded it nor anticipated it. Having a basic idea of many plans for the coming year, I knew I could look forward to a new year. But I also chose to skip any massive resolutions to change. (Lose 30 pounds? Probably not going to happen. But if I could just make sure I added some movement and exercise into every day, that would be a huge win.)

But then, somewhere in between the love and the hate on New Year’s Day, I had a startling realization:

The Lord is going to do some really amazing things in the new year. This amazingness will happen around the world. He will give me some really good gifts and do some really good things through me. He’ll give you some really good gifts, too. And if you’re a follower of Christ, He’ll do some really good things through you.

How do I know this with absolute certainty? He’s promised it in His Word.

Good and perfect gifts

As James 1:17 tells us, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Every good gift you experience this year? It’s a blessing given from your heavenly Father. 

Jesus explained the Father’s generosity in his Sermon on the Mount:

“Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!(Matthew 7:9-11)

God is good. And He gives good gifts. Be on the lookout for this in the coming year.

Good works prepared in advance

Not only does God give every good and perfect gift, but if you’re His own, He’s also prepared so many good things for you to do.

Most importantly, you need to know you’re His own. The Apostle Paul explains this in Ephesians 2:1-9:

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Again, we see God’s good gifts: riches of his grace in kindness that we can’t even measure. And it’s through none of your own work. This undeserved saving from death to life is through faith.

Once you know you are His own, Ephesians 2:10 tells us what we can count on

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Believer, that means that in this coming year, you can anticipate walking in the good works God has prepared for you. He knows what good works will come out of your life–He’s prepared them in advance! 

This is a lot like the unfolding of a really fantastic surprise. You don’t know what’s coming, but it’s good.

Trust your heavenly Father, the One who gives you every good and perfect gift, and watch the good works He has planned for your 2024. 

Even in your toughest moments throughout 2023, God is working all things together for good. He’s prepared good works for you to do this year. And He’s the giver of all the good gifts your new year holds.

Working all things together for good

Not every situation you face this year will be easy. In fact, many will be downright hard. You may face tragedy and loss. You could be in a season of suffering. You might feel disappointed or overwhelmed. But in the middle of all the challenges, know that God will continue to work good. 

As Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Even in your toughest moments throughout 2024, God is working all things together for good. He’s prepared good works for you to do this year. And He’s the giver of all the good gifts your new year holds.

Happy New Year!

Even in your toughest moments throughout 2023, God is working all things together for good. He’s prepared good works for you to do this year. And He’s the giver of all the good gifts your new year holds.
All images courtesy of Unsplash.

Editorial note: This post originally was published on Jan. 2, 2023. It has been updated to reflect a new year. Happy New Year!
Hilary
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