January is a month of optimism. It may be cold and dead outside, but inside us, hope springs eternal in January. We make all sorts of new plans. Join a gym. Eat better. Give more. Cook at home more. Read the Bible. Clean out that closet. As we box up all the traditions of December and pack them away for another year, we look at all the clean surfaces and we’re ready for new. New is great. It’s all opportunity and potential.
Until we really think about “new.” Then new becomes something else; it’s change and uncertainty. It’s messy and hard. And I might not succeed, so new might mean failure. And with failure comes regret. Maybe I’ll quit trying for new before I have a chance to fail.
We all know that God promises that one day, all things will be made new (Rev. 21:5). But even today, God can make your life new. If you are trapped in a cycle of regret or sin or sickness or sadness today, here’s another promise:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. —2 Corinthians 5:17
What old things have passed away? Your sin. Your regret. Your pain. When you become a follower of Jesus, old values, old ideas, old plans, old loves, and old desires vanish. They are replaced with new. He makes things new by restoring your soul. He creates new life and bestows new names. He makes you a new creation. And through Christ who strengthens me, I can do all things (Phil. 4:13). Even new things!
This Sunday the choir will sing an anthem entitled “Jesus Saves.” It begins with these words:
“Freedom’s calling, chains are falling, hope is dawning bright and true. Day is breaking, night is quaking. God is making all things new. Jesus saves.”
What a promise! Let’s not fear the new creations that God wants to make in our lives. An old English minister once wrote, “If you would have light and heat, why are you not more in the sunshine?” Let’s embrace the hope that we have in the saving power of Jesus Christ and be willing to stand in the light of the Son and let Him create something new in each of us.