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Starting New

It is hard to believe we are already 3 days into 2023! As we start a new year, many of us are thinking of goals or resolutions we may want to accomplish. The changing of the calendar offers a sense of starting new. It gives us hope, which is especially helpful living here in Iowa as we realize we still have 3 more months (sometimes 4 to 5) of winter.

However, this sense of hope can sometimes be short lived. Whether we begin to fall short of our goals or things that we thought we left in 2022 are still hanging around, we can begin to get bogged back down. We may find we still have the same struggles we have had and that the changing to a new calendar did not get rid of all of our bad habits and patterns. When we focus on these things, we can lose hope quickly; but as followers of Christ, our hope does not rest in the changing of a calendar or in setting good goals. When we begin to lose hope or get frustrated, turn to God:

My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:20-23)

Jeremiah penned these words as he saw the people of Israel continually reject God’s Word and face incredible hardship. He saw death, famine, and a complete collapse of Jerusalem. His soul was burdened with all of this affliction; yet in the midst of all of this, he called to mind this truth: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

God’s love and mercy never end. Never. They are limitless, and they are fresh and new every morning. Every day. Take time to think on that today. God will not run out of love or mercy towards those who repent and seek Him. He is faithful. We often run out of resolve to keep our goals for this new year. In fact, many of us may not even set goals because we are frustrated with past failure.

As we start another year, do not get stuck focusing on failures and mistakes. It is good to evaluate, repent, and learn from these; but we must not get caught up in self-pity. Like Jeremiah, remind yourself of the truth of God’s never-ending love and mercy. The Lord is our hope; He is our inheritance; He provides salvation.

“‘The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:24-26

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