As we approach the end of one year and begin another, one thing remains constant. Our greatest need is a deepening experience of the love and lordship of Jesus Christ. As conditions in the Nation see continual turmoil, it has never been more crucial for Christians to be renewed and empowered. And even though believers may often feel like a remnant in a land of growing darkness, a revived remnant is always God’s means for spiritual awakening.
As salt and light, it is essential that God’s people experience times of new beginnings and refreshing from God. Yet sometimes, believers become weary, and a new beginning seems out of reach. Beyond question, one of Satan’s most damaging tactics is to bring Christians under condemnation and discouragement. So where do we find the confidence for renewal as a new year approaches? In Scripture, powerful truths reveal our rock solid foundation and confidence before God.
Believers are “accepted, counted righteous and justified”
In Heb. 4:16, God says believers can “come boldly before the throne of grace to find help in time of need.” Because we are all far from perfect, it is encouraging to remember the freshness of God’s grace for each new day (Lam. 3:22-23).
In Eph. 1:6, God declares that we are “accepted” in the Beloved. The word “accepted” speaks of an acceptance that is absolute, not partial. Paul further declares that believers are “counted righteous and justified” in Christ. (Rom. 4:5, 5:1)
These incredible words mean God views us (in Jesus) as if we have not sinned and done all righteousness. Because believers are justified through Christ’s blood, our sins are wholly forgiven. Three additional words provide great joy and hope.
Believers’ sins are “removed, buried and forgotten”
To further underscore believers’ confidence, God uses three analogies that show the phenomenal depth of His grace. In Ps. 103:12, God says He has “removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.“
Consider this incredible analogy. Even if someone could travel east around the earth a million times, that direction would never become west. In other words, our sins are removed to infinity. They are gone forever!
In Micah 7:19, the Hebrew words declare that all of our sins are buried in the depths of the sea. The Lord did not just bury some of our sins in the sea. God stresses that He buried all of them in the deepest sea. In other words, they are buried so deep they will never resurface!
In Heb. 8:12, God further emphasizes His acceptance and grace. He declares that He will remember our sins no more. No matter how much some may have struggled and failed, believers can have a new beginning and powerful renewal through God’s grace. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to seek God for a whole new start.
Believers are “empowered to live victoriously”
Though all believers experience times of struggle and weakness, God promises victory to demolish strongholds. In 2 Cor. 10:4, Paul said, “We have weapons that are mighty through God to the demolishing of strongholds.” John wrote that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world”(1 John 4:4).
Believers, no matter have long a stronghold may have dominated our life, every believer can claim and experience full victory in Christ’s grace. So in approaching the new year, prayerfully consider what attitudes, actions or relationships need to change.
One thing is certain — God is more than able to provide grace for a new beginning! Let 2018 be your whole new beginning for the glory of God.