New Years and New Mornings

by Bill Denton

New Years, New Mornings

"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22,23, NASB).

There is something exciting about a new year. For some reason, there is the sense that things of the past have come to some sort of end or conclusion, even if, in reality, they are continuing. There is the sense that New Year brings opportunity to "turn over a new leaf," or "turn a new page of life," or "take new path," or "set new goals," or some other expression of altering the present course of one's life. Many people approach the beginning of a new year with eager anticipation. They're ready to get going, to enjoy new things and people, and to make something happen! And all of that is good.

But, when all is said and done, our talk about the New Year is more a matter of perception than reality. January 1st is really just the day after December 31st. This time around, it happens that it will be a Tuesday following a Monday. That perspective sort of takes the starch out of all the build-up doesn't it?

But, is it as negative or blasé as it sounds? I imagine it might be, depending on the person speaking, but what if we were looking at things with the perspective of the passage above in Lamentations? There is something simple but profound stated there about God, and it applies specifically to us. As for God's lovingkindnesses (also translated: compassions, mercies, kindness, or steadfast love), they never cease. They do not wear out, get old, break down, become faulty or out-of-date. They do not weaken, struggle, become impotent or otherwise incapacitated. Now, think about this for a second. The only reason we need something "new" is because that which is "old" no longer suits us, or does the job. But, this isn't a problem with God's mercies.

They are new every morning! You do not have to await a new year. They aren't refreshed whenever they become ancient or useless. God's lovingkindness is fresh the moment your eyelids greet the dawn. Whatever it is that burdens your heart at the beginning of the day, there is something from God to help you bear it. Whatever joys thrill your soul, there is something from God to make it even better. Whatever blessing you need (key word here is not "want" but "need"), there are God's compassions ready to rain down upon your head. Oh, to have this kind of perspective every day.

I like it when a new year rolls around. I make my lists of changes, goals, and projects. But I'm really counting on the fact that with God it's just another day; one in which His mercies are brand new, like they were yesterday. That's not blasé, that's the confidence of a faith that knows that divine resources are new with each morning. With that in mind, I think I can make it. I'm sure that God will send a heap of new mercies your way tomorrow morning and won't even wait until New Year's!

(C) Copyright, 1998, Dr. Bill Denton. All rights reserved.