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Christmas day has come and gone. Today many of us are enjoying a few minutes to catch our breath. There are probably still a few lingering presents under the tree or maybe one more family get together, but the explosion of wrapping paper and Christmas Stockings is pretty much done.
Now we are waiting for the New Year.
In just a few days we’ll turn the page on another year. For better or worse we will lay aside 2012 and open a brand New Year. And somehow the New Year always seems to inspire hope. Maybe it is just that we call it “New.” Or maybe it is because we are made in the image of God that there is hope in us. Hope for a better life, hope for a happier future, hope for our children.
Somehow, despite life’s ups and downs, that hope always seems to linger.
Throughout life we face many disappointments and challenges. Whether it is an accident on the highway, a frightening report from a doctor, or even an overdraft notice from the bank, it seems that the next problem is just around the corner. And somehow hope remains, and at the start of a New Year you can see it in the way we say “Happy New Year” with such conviction, or even in those pesky resolutions we just keep making.
And yet there is a hope that we can rely on, one that will not fail us. It doesn’t come with the turning of a page on a calendar, but with the turning of our hearts towards our maker. The Bible tells us in Romans, “Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5 NIV).
New hope does come with new beginnings, real new beginnings, not marked by a change on the calendar, but marked by a change in the heart. When we trust in God we receive a hope that does not disappoint because it is grounded in the love of God himself for his children. When we place our faith in Jesus we see that all our problems, all our difficulties and disappointments are only temporary.
The New Year starts in just a few days and what better way to start it than with the Living Hope that comes in Christ? Maybe you once trusted him but have wandered away, renew your hope today, call on him and he will listen, reach out to him and he will reach out to you. Maybe you never really trusted him, it is not too late.
New life, new hope awaits if you will only believe. Another place in Romans we are told, “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NIV). Don’t wait another minute, trust in our living hope even today.