Ten, nine, eight seven, six, five, four, three two, one!
On December 31 we will begin the countdown from the old year of 2010 to the New Year of 2011.
If we’re not avid New Year’s Eve participants blowing horns and dancing in the streets, we still participate in the countdown. Even while we sleep the clock counts down and we pass from one year into the next.
And yet, doesn’t this exact thing happen every night? Only, nightly we pass from one day into the next.
What makes the New Year so momentous is that it gives us a whole new year in which to start over again. We set goals, we implement plans to achieve those goals and we march unafraid into the unknown.
Or do we?
Is there fear and trepidation about what the New Year may hold? Do we wonder if we could really achieve the goals we set? And in this very lacking economy with so many out of work, is there any hope for a “Happy New Year?”
I believe there is always hope.
But it is important to have one’s hope rightly placed. If it is only in our own abilities or our own desires, our hope lacks a proper foundation. It is uncertain.
However, if we place our hope securely in the One who holds our futures in His hands—God who created and sustains his creation—then it is firm and sure. It is a hope that doesn’t disappoint.
In our culture, the pursuit of happiness not only defines us, it sometimes consumes those who get caught up in the race. Unfortunately, the life that some people experience at the end of this journey is one of frustration, exhaustion, and stress rather than “the good life” they expected to find. The futility with which so many people are living today is proof that they are hurting…searching…longing for the wrong things.
Christians have long understood that hope for the future God promises us is the “something” that other people are missing. In 1 Peter 3:15, we are challenged to “Be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason to hope.” He encourages us to be ready and anxious to tell others about the hope we have as Christians that helps us to not only get through every day but also our eternal future.
This advice is more meaningful today than it was the day it was written. Because God is increasingly under attack in our secular society, there are fewer and fewer places for those searching to find Him. Do the people who come in contact with you know that they can find an answer of hope in you? Are you a living example and testimony of hope for those around you? Edith Stein put it best in her words, “Our nation doesn’t need what we have…it needs what we are!”
Think about the opportunities God gives you each day to proclaim His message of hope to others. Don’t waste the opportunities you have to do so. When you do, you’ll discover the true power of the gift of hope. In it, those who have been searching will not only find the answers they have been looking for but both their life and yours will be changed forever because of it.