Happy New Year. Has anyone really explained the meaning of this phrase? What exactly does it mean to you? For the average American it may mean peace, health, prosperity, good times, all things well, etc. We know this to be true because some people say, “I can’t wait until this year is over because 2012 was not a very good year for our family. It was not a happy year.” How was your 2012? Was it a happy year for you? Was it a good year for you? How do you measure such things? How should a Christian measure the success of a year—whether it was a happy year or not?
First, we must remember that we don’t see how God sees. He has celestial eyes that are able to see the past, present, and future all in one glance. He sees how the past has led to the present and how the future helps define the present. Unfortunately, far too often we measure the present by the present. I am having a bad day. I am having a bad week. I am having an unhappy year. All of these conclusions are not measured by how the past led to the day, week, or year. Rarely taken into consideration is how the future may cause the present to seem less dreadful. Scripture makes it clear that His ways are far above our ways, and His thoughts far above our thoughts (Isa 55:8-9). We need to avoid drawing conclusions by looking at the present. Allow Him time to show you His plans, which are always good (Rom 8:28).
Second, we must remember that He has been consistently faithful in our past. This does not mean everything has happened just the way we may have wanted it to happen, nor does it mean we understand the past. If we allow ourselves to truly evaluate the past in light of our Savior, then we will conclude with Jeremiah that great is His faithfulness, and His mercies are renewed every morning (Lam 3:22-23). Because our vision is limited by our depravity, we tend to forget that He has neither forsaken nor abandoned us. He has been faithful and always will be. We can trust the future because He has been faithful to us in the past.
Third, we must remember this is not all there is. I’m not sure what 2013 will bring. Maybe the Lord will return this year. Maybe one of us will go home due to an unexpected death. Maybe, from an earthly view, the new year will be anything but happy. Regardless of what 2013 brings, we can have confidence knowing our loving Savior has gone to prepare a place for us, and it is going to be good. Just imagine our favorite restaurant on steroids, or the joys of earth without sin and without pain. Imagine worship with no limit of His glory.
Maybe we don’t need to wish anyone “Happy New Year” at all. Maybe we just need to remind everyone that 2013 is going to be amazing; amazing because He was in 2012 and will be in 2014. So He can’t be anything but amazing in 2013. I can’t wait to see our Savior high and lifted up for His glory in the coming year. Let’s delight in Him as He does all things well.