New Year’s had always been my favorite holiday. As a Christian woman obsessed with growth, I just loved that idea of a fresh start, new potential, and wide-open possibilities. And I spent every week before New Year’s throughout my teen years just grueling over what resolutions I was going to make for when the clock struck 12.
I had this desire for my life or my habits to change instantaneously, but of course, that never happened. Every resolution was met with a lack of self-control, a fleeting feeling that would dissipate just as quickly as the novelty of writing the new year in the date at the top of my diary. I knew something had to change this year. We know resolutions don’t typically work, but what does? I set out to find it.
I thought I knew the direction my search would go, maybe even the destination I’d come to at the end of it. I researched “New Year’s Visions” and “Resolutions that Work” and “One Word for the New Year.” Don’t get me wrong; I found tons of cute, inspirational articles with creative ways to beat the failed-resolution blues, but I had heard it all before. I needed something different. Little did I know, the answer I was seeking had nothing to do with New Year’s at all and everything to do with the very source on new-ness Himself.
I honestly wasn’t all that surprised to find out that new-ness is a resounding theme in the Word. Check this out: If you’re a KJV girl like me, you’ll find the word new 84 times in the Old Testament. In Psalm 40:3, the Lord puts a new song in our hearts. In Isaiah 43:19, He prophesies of a new way through the wilderness. Ezekiel 36:26 provides us with a new heart and a new spirit. Then this idea appears 47 more times in the New Testament! In Matthew 26:28, Jesus tells us His blood is the new testament for our sins. John 13:34 gives us a new commandment to love one another as Christ loves us. And praise God, we are a new creation and a new man (or woman, of course) in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10, and more. In Revelations, we are given the hope of a new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem, and ALL THINGS NEW in Revelation 21:5. I may be beating a dead horse, but it’s so important to notice: Our God is a God of restoration, and His creation was created to grow, change, and be new!
Then I found it. My answer.
Lamentations 3. In this chapter, Jeremiah is just reveling in his brokenness. He feels left out, he feels defeated, he feels miserable. He says he “forgot prosperity” and his “hope is perished.” Now I might sound a little dramatic, but isn’t this how we feel when we fail our resolutions? I had one job. ONE JOB. And I couldn’t do it. I am broken, defeated, and hopeless.
But then he goes on.
v. 22-23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that I am not consumed [by the brokenness], because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness!”
Wow. Just think of that. His mercies are new every morning. Not just every year, not just birthdays, not just weddings or graduations or moments that typically signal some great change in season or life. Every. Single. Day. When we fail, when we mess up, when we fall flat on our faces yet again, His mercy is new every single day.
I finally realized my problem: I was basing my hope for change in myself. Or I was basing it in the group I had decide to commit to something with. Or I was basing it on the insignificant fact that the year on the calendar had changed. But I wasn’t basing it on the One who is faithful, every day, even when I am not.
So did I decide on a word to theme my year? You bet I did. Do I have a vision for what I want my life to look like at the end of this year? Absolutely. Is my journal full of marked up, crossed out, re-written lists of my decided-upon resolutions? It sure is. But these aren’t just my words or visions or resolutions for a new year, but rather, for each new day of this year. And my faithful God will greet me each and every one of those days with abundant mercy and grace to carry me through.
Boy, is my mind blown by Him yet again. I set out to write a post about how wonderful New Year’s was, and I ended up at how wonderful my God is.