It is true, many people celebrate the New Year with a sigh of relief concerning things difficult, painful and troublesome that occurred in the old year with an expectation of better things to come in the new year. Each new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start, and new blessings.
God is a fan of "new!"
New means something that is just brought into existence, or something that is different from the old, or former things.
The term "new" is used approximately 131 times in the Old Testament and 54 times in the New Testament. God talks about all types of new things: a new name (Is. 62:2; Rev.2:17); a new song (Is. 42:10; Ps. 40:3); a new covenant (Jer. 31:31; 1 Cor. 11:25); a new commandment (John 13:34); a new birth (1 Peter 1:3); a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26); a new man (2 Cor. 5:17); a new life (Rom. 6:4); a new attitude, and a new self (Eph. 4:23-24).
The thought of ushering in a new year with God holds promise for real change.
All newness begins in God, because it is he who makes all things new (Rev. 21:5), including you and me.
Most people approach the new year with the thought of change, of some-how making things different, better or new. Many people make resolutions – a list of things they want or need to change. Things they want to add to their life. Things they want to re-new or re-do.
A resolution is a resolve, a firm decision to do something that you were not doing. A resolution is a statement, a plan for change.
Is there anything you need to change, or want to change? (Maybe you want to change an attitude about life, or about someone; a habit that is harmful to your physical or mental health; a pattern of hurtful interactions within your relationships; a mindset of being critical and negative; a prideful or self-sufficient spirit; or _______________ (you fill it in).
A Resolution by Any Other Name Is...
Believe it or not, changing our mind or renewing our mind is repentance! In the New Testament of the Bible, repent comes from the Greek word metanoia which means a change of mind; a change in the inner man; a change of thinking and of purpose. In the Old Testament repentance is the concept of turning to God and away from sinful ways.
Repentance involves a turning away from our "selves" and our ways, and a turning to God.
Acts 17:30 describes repentance in a very clear way:
"God overlooked the times when people didn't know any better. But now he commands everyone everywhere to turn to him and change the way they think and act."
Repentance is a word that some modern thinkers find repugnant or old fashioned. Yet to change how we think and act is the very definition of repentance.
The new year is a time when we think of change. Resolutions are resolves and plans to repent and change.