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When Nothing Changes On New Year's Day

I open up my journal on January 1; the pages stare back at me. I realize that this year I’m not starting a brand new journal; January lands right in the middle. I could leave the pages blank and start fresh, but I don’t. It seems fitting to carry on and finish filling in the pages, even if the year is new.

Life hasn’t magically changed as we rang in the new year; it’s still the middle of winter, and we’re still in a lockdown.

It’s easy to struggle when things don’t change like you want them to, whether it’s a job, a relationship, or the sin that’s entangled. We long for freedom from what seems to trap us, becoming overwhelmed or despairing when our circumstances remain the same.

It’s important to remember that sometimes, things don’t change. And it can be a good thing.

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

When change evades us, we can take great hope that God also does not change.

God is steadfast. He is our rock, our refuge, and our foundation. We’ve known the storms that rolled in this past year, and how desperately we’ve needed a firm foundation to stand on. He promises that he does not forsake us, rather he is Immanuel, God with us.

There are new mercies to discover each and every day, the character of endurance to forge in the daily grind, and a deeper trust to embark on. We don’t know what 2021 will hold, but we know with confidence that God is at work, around us and in us.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24)

God’s unchanging nature gives us great hope for the coming year. His presence with us and purposes for each new day.


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