New Year: Fresh Perspective. Renewed Purpose.

Day 1 of 10 • This day’s reading

Devotional

A New Hope


By Danny Saavedra


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”—1 Peter 1:3 (NASB)


As you look back over the last 12 months, what comes to mind? Every year is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures—though it’s likely you’ve never experienced a year like this! But for many, the new year symbolizes something more than just the end of another year; it means the dawning of new possibilities, new hopes, new ideas, and new dreams. I can’t even count how many posts I’ve seen on Twitter and Instagram over the past few months begging for the calendar to turn over into the new year. And now, it’s finally upon us!


As we consider what the next 12 months will bring, some people eagerly look forward, while others might be filled with dread, worried that this year will be just as hard—or worse—as the last. 


To all of us who follow Christ, the apostle Peter has a message: We have a living hope that can never die. We have received this living hope through the great mercy of God by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! It’s a hope we can rest in and lean on—a hope that is renewed not with the new year, but with each and every morning


For some of us, the tragedies of this year may be obscuring our view of this living hope. Many times, we can get stuck in the past, consumed by the circumstances that have taken place, embittered and overcome by challenges and tribulations, by all the things that are wrong with the world, by all the things that didn’t go our way, trapped in our failures, mistakes, and sins . . . so much so that we become spiritually paralyzed—incapable of enjoying the abundant life Jesus came to give us, and unable to live out the calling God has placed on us. 


I pray over each and every one of you that this wouldn’t be your story! Remember what Paul said: “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13–14 NLT). Is it easy? Definitely not. There are few things more difficult to overcome than the past. It shapes who we are today; it often defines so much of our lives and the choices that we make. But we can overcome it! How? By “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).


So, for you, this new year may be full of triumph. If so, that’s awesome! Or it may be full of tragedy. I pray it isn’t—though if it is, you can always reach out to me for prayer. More likely, it will contain a large mix of both. But guess what? The mountaintops and valleys of life can neither add to nor take away from this living hope, because this hope we have because of and in Christ Jesus, our good and great Lord and Savior, is complete, powerful, perfect, and unshakeable. In light of this, let’s resolve to remind ourselves of this beautiful fact every single day!


DIG: How has your past influenced you? How has it impacted your life choices and your present standing?


DISCOVER: What is your New Year’s Resolution? 


DO: If you are experiencing difficulty overcoming the past, pray! Ask the Lord for His comfort, strength, and peace. Consider speaking with trusted loved ones and friends in the faith about what’s holding you back.