Happiness in a New Year

Happy New Year to you, dear readers. “Happiness” for us who believe in Christ Jesus does not depend upon our external circumstances or getting “our way,” rather, true happiness rests in the inner assurance that we are individually known, loved, and forgiven by the Creator of all things, who at great cost has purchased us to be His own sons and daughters. It peers above our circumstances, be they good or bad, and locks its gaze onto something far higher and incomparably better—forever life in Christ, already begun through the birth of His Spirit in us. So, I say again, good friends, Happy New Year to you.

What will this year bring to us? We celebrate January 1 as something of a relief—new hope clinging to new beginnings. Which is to say we ring in 2022 with the same optimism with which we greeted 2021 and 2020 before that. But by now we know that world peace does not come with the turn of a calendar page, nor do disasters cease when our annual countdowns reach midnight. We will have good times in the months to come, certainly, and yet among them there will be good-byes, as well. We cannot control these things; we can only respond to them and persevere. So perhaps we do well to ask ourselves a different question from now on . . .

What will we bring to this year? As God knows everything about us and calls us His friends,1 can we grow as relational givers who listen openly in order to know others better? Can we be friends who “love at all times” and be there for people in their “times of adversity,” regardless of our inconvenience?2 Can we who have been so graciously forgiven likewise “bear with each other and forgive one another,3 letting go of our rights against others for their wrongs against us? Perhaps 2022 really can be a happier new year—that which comes from being vessels through whom God brings hope and happiness to those who cannot find it in a fallen world. This is what I hope for myself; this is what I hope for you. Happy New Year, good friends.

Father, turn my focus to upward to You and outward to others. This is what I want. Thank you for hearing my plea. You are good. In Christ I pray. Amen.

1 John 15:15
2 Proverbs 17:17
3 Colossians 3:13

2 replies on “Happiness in a New Year”

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