New Year. Same God.
The New Year is always a mixed bag. The hopefulness inherent in a fresh start often gets tangled up with the burdens of old mistakes or crushing blows. 2020 won't start anew. We drag 2019 into it, along with snippets of other years.
Reflection is good for the soul. It allows us to count our blessings and face our problems. We unbottle the moments that made us smile and feel safe. Perhaps we push away the memories that grieve us. We celebrate resolved conflicts, and brace for the ones that are still ongoing. Some loose ends are all tied up. Others remain in a knotted mess on the floor.
Wherever you find yourself on January 1, 2020, know that you are not alone. Here are some promises for when you feel like celebrating this year, and when you need comfort.
God will never leave you. "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
God will give you rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
When circumstances are bad, God is good. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
We belong to God. "If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." (Romans 14:8)
Talk to God. "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." (James 1:5-6)
If you're hurting, you don't have to hurt alone. "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
God is good when the blessings flow. God is good when the news is grim. Regardless, He is good. That's the truth upon which we stand in the New Year, no matter what comes our way.