A happy new year
With the New Year arriving, we give thought to what we might change in our lives. New Year’s resolutions are made, old habits broken (hopefully), and a sense of refreshing is all around us.
Its also a great opportunity to renew our commitment to God. In our busy lives, God often gets overlooked or deemphasized as we go about our days. But God asks us to put Him first in all things we do. Consider Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and all these shall be added to you.” And what things are Jesus talking about? From verse 31 we know He is talking about what shall we eat, drink and wear; our basic necessities. The promise is that if we put God first, the worries of everyday life can be lifted, leaving us to focus on serving Him better and more completely.
As far as being happy in the New Year, consider Romans 14:19-23, “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.” It interesting that happiness here is directly connected to faith and conviction to God.
A synonym of happiness is joy. Again in Romans 14, verse 17 says, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in in the Holy Spirit.” Back in chapter 8, Paul talks about being led by the Holy Spirit. And how does the Holy Spirit lead us? Is it by some special, divine revelation? No, it is through the Word. The Holy Spirit has revealed to us all things that we need in order to live a life pleasing to God.
So how can we have a happy New Year? By putting God first! If we do, He will relieve our worries, we will be happy in our service to Him, and we will have joy in doing what we are told to do in His Word. A happy New Year begins and ends with serving our Lord!