A New Year’s Wish

  • Peter Friesen, Author
  • Retired Minister

2 Corinthians 6:2… 2) “For he says, In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (NIV)

The old gives way to the new: We are all set to go for another twelve months: We have left the old year behind; all things are new and pure; nobody can stop us; we are into the New Year, and we want nothing to do with the Old Year. Sound familiar? Sure, it does, we have all said that many times: But I need to remind myself that God is the Master of time, and that I am the slave of time. Time passes so quickly when you are older… I never have enough time. If only I could add, say, thirty extra minutes into an hour. I would now have another twelve hours in a day, and I could accomplish everything I ever wanted to do.

We are so keen on the New Year that sometimes we forget the past. Well, you say, “That yesterday is history. there is extraordinarily little we can do about it, so you may as well stop making a noise about it.” All right!! I get the point. There are folks who can allow the yesterdays to be at rest, and they have luck on their side. But the yesterdays can also trouble us, it can squeeze the joy out of life, and it can enslave us. I remember moments last year when things just did not seem to go the right way, and at that time everything came undone. I remember November 5 – 2008 at 3:00 in the morning when I woke up with bad chest pain. The pain did not go away as they usually had in the past; rather, the pain became more severe. My wife phoned our son and minutes later I was in the hospital having a heart attack. The following day the ER relocated me to the big city where they did an Angiogram procedure. The Doctor told me I had blocked arteries in my heart that required triple bypass surgery to correct the problem. Six days later, I had the surgery.

Before my surgery I had days where thoughts came to me… thoughts about the surgery, its dangers. I thought of family, friends, all those who were praying for me, my preaching ministry. I remember a certain amount of nervousness. But then I remembered that God still loves me even when I feel down and out. Oh yes!! He picked me up and re-energized my spirit.

What if I were to tell the clock to stop because I can not start the New Year unless I clean up left-over business left over from 2022. Did you know that your yesterdays and my yesterdays are not dead at all? The past is what is driving you and me right now. It has moulded us and formed the way we think, for good or for bad.

Have you ever said, “This year I will have more time to do the things that are important to me?” But the old saying “Tomorrow never comes” takes over and shapes our agenda.” At this point in time, I find all sorts of excuses to wait until tomorrow to do that which I should do today. The most important thing that I need to do today is take care of all the unresolved situations from last year. Ask yourself this question: Should I contact “you know who” to make things right? Do I need to confess to God my past sins and then ask the Holy Spirit to give me the power to stay away from those things I know are wrong for me to do? Our Scripture lesson says, “Today is the day of salvation.” The “day of salvation” should never be a yesterday event, it should be a present-day event, this very moment, so that we can live by grace.

Suppose you and I sacrifice and work hard so that people will have the opportunity that this world can afford them. Then suppose folks feel no debt of gratitude; and suppose they fail. Not because they have not the ability, but because they will not try, because they have forgotten the love that gave them so much. That is what breaks the heart of well-meaning people. When God gives us all His grace and we foolishly go our way and frustrate that grace, we break the heart of Christ… To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done.

Would you pray this prayer with me… “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I want my life to change. My thoughts and my attitude need to change. I do not have peace in my heart, I really want that peace, joy, and happiness that I long for. Please let the Holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will bring honour to Your Name.” Amen