Welcoming the New Year with Hope
History is moving toward that day when all things are fully renewed.

Welcoming the New Year with Hope

by Adam Wittenberg
12/30/16 Christian Living

We worship the God who is making all things new! The last book of the Bible tells us:

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . . Then I . . . saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God . . . There shall be no more death . . . There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” (Revelation 21:1–5)

This is real. It will happen—Christ will return, rejoining heaven and earth, and God will be with man again, as it was in the beginning (Genesis 3:8). This is our blessed hope!

God has given us a system to mark years, including the new year. This helps remind us that history is moving toward that day when all things are fully renewed.

Yet even now—in ways big and small—the Lord grants newness to those who call on Him.

Our God is a restorer. He loves to make the broken whole, the sick well, and the lame walk. He turns prostitutes into heroines, persecutors into apostles, and lowly shepherds into great leaders.

The Lord also binds up those who are crushed in spirit, has compassion on the weak, and gives life to a valley of dead and dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1–10). In other words, our God is God of the impossible (Mark 10:27).

The Lord, who spoke creation into existence, has not changed. His power—and love—is constant and available to all who believe.

While we don’t get to choose HOW God answers our prayers, we can be sure that He hears us and will answer faithfully as we come in Christ’s name (Hebrews 4:14–16).

And that’s part of entering the New Year with hope. Regardless of who won the election, how high (or low) the stock market is, and which nations are at war, Christ’s return grows closer with each new day (and year).

Jesus will make many things new before He comes: Christ said that signs, wonders, and healings would follow those who believe, and that His people would do greater works than Him (Mark 16–18; John 14:12).

God’s also promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28–29), drawing many to Him (perhaps a billion souls or more; watch Mike Bickle share about God’s prophesied power in the End Times).

There are many reasons to hope—as long as we keep our eyes on the Lord! The world can’t give this hope, or peace, because it doesn’t know it (John 14:27). We only find it in Jesus.

Yet as we abide in Him we’ll taste many of His wonders, walk in hope and peace, and—when He comes—experience the presence that will transform all things.

So as believers, we have abundant reason to hope this New Year—not in politics, economics, or creating “world peace”—but in the coming of our great God and King.

Christ is here now, ruling through His bride and will be revealed in fullness when He returns. God’s kingdom is unshakable: no man, woman, government, or group can stop it (see Psalm 2).

Our hope springs eternal and doesn’t disappoint. Living from the eternal reality of heaven coming to earth will separate us from people who hope only in temporal things.

So as we welcome 2017, let us thank God for His kingdom, wisdom, and plan “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth” (Ephesians 1:10).

This year, instead of Auld Lang Syne, we can sing the words of this classic hymn:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Blessings as you celebrate our eternal hope!

Adam Wittenberg

position

A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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