As we bid farewell to the old year and ring in the new, it's natural to feel a mix of emotions. On one hand, we're excited for the potential and possibility that the new year brings. On the other hand, we're probably feeling a little bit relieved that we made it through another year of trying to balance work, family, and life in general.
But as a pastor, I am always reminded of the hope that is found in the message of the Gospel. No matter how much we may have messed up in the past year (and let's be honest, we all have), we can have confidence in the promise of a bright future through faith in Jesus Christ.
In Romans 5:1-5, Paul writes, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Basically, this passage is saying that even when things get tough, we can have hope because of the love and grace of God. So as we enter into this new year, let's embrace hope and look forward with confidence and excitement for what the future holds. And let's also try to not mess up as much as we did in the past year (although I'm sure we'll still mess up a little bit, because that's just how life works).
Happy New Year!