New Year, Same God
It is the first day of the year 2021, a day we have eagerly anticipated. A typical New Year brings the possibility of new adventures, new enjoyments, and new excitements. This New Year brings those possibilities and it brings relief. Relief that 2020 is over and a New Year is upon us. Who knows what we will see and experience this year; only the Lord knows!
One thing we do know about the 364 days ahead of us is the gift of God’s mercy. The Prophet Jeremiah says in Lamentations 3 that the mercies of God are new every morning. New mercies every morning. Look at what Jeremiah says:
“Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! 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. “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 3:19–26
Jeremiah is heartbroken over the sins of the people of Israel. He weeps and cries out to the LORD to see his affliction and his turmoil. Yet even in the pain, he remembers the character of God. He remembers God’s covenant faithfulness to His people. He remembers the Lord’s extravagant mercy.
Theologian Wayne Grudem defines “mercy” as “God’s goodness towards those in misery and distress”. God’s mercy is an act of His goodness towards us not an act towards our goodness. We are undeserving of His mercy and that is what makes His mercy so extravagant. The Lord gives His mercy out of His love for us.
When you wake up in the morning, awaiting for you is the gift of new mercies given to us by our Father in heaven. As sure as the sun rises from the east, the mercies of God are lavished upon us. Every new day brings to us a new opportunity to rest in the goodness and grace of God. When your life is in turmoil, remember God’s love and mercy for you. When you have sinned, remember God’s love and mercy for you. When you are feeling anxious, remember God’s love and mercy for you.
The reason God shows this mercy to us each and every day is due to his unending and faithful love He shows His children. He knows we need His mercy and He delights in being merciful to us. This is who God is. The mercy we receive is not based on who we are or what we have done, it is solely based on the character of a Holy God.
One of the more popular mindsets heading into the New Year is “New Year, New You”. The New Year provides an opportunity to lose weight, save money, chase that dream, or to just try something new. Resolutions are made to bring about the new you you want to be. But after a few weeks, those resolutions are stuffed in a drawer until next year. While we seek to change, our God never changes. The Psalmist states,
“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you”. – Psalm 102:25–28
The Apostle James writes,
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17
Did you see that? Everything changes, but God remains the same. And our response to God’s immutability, that is, God’s unchangeableness, is to know that we are secure in Him. His promises never change, His character never changes, His Word never changes. God remains the same and when the calendar changes to a new date, God’s mercies will be there waiting anew. Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.
This year brings different adventures, different possibilities, or it may bring more of what we have recently dealt with, but the year also brings 365 new days where God will show us new mercies. It’s a new year, but we serve and trust in the same, unchanging, and faithful God. Let’s celebrate Him.