Isn’t the title wrong? Shouldn’t it be Happy New Year? Sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who doesn’t think so. It’s not that I don’t want people to have a happy 2012. But I think there is something people forget as they leave 2011 behind as a good riddance, while welcoming 2012 with declarations of how much better it will be. Wasn’t it the same last year, and the year before that, and the year before that? This 2011 we are so glad to leave is the very one we were so anxious to welcome only a year ago.
What we fail to consider in the midst of the excitement of a new year beginning is life continuing to happen in the new year, much as it did in the old. Maybe not the exact same things, but we can be sure there will be challenges of many different kinds over the course of a year. We tend to let those difficulties and challenges color our recollection of the old year. We miss so much living this way, but we don’t have to. While Jesus assured us we would have troubles in this world, He also gave us a different way to live in the midst of those troubles. Take heart, I have overcome the world!1
It’s called a new mindset, with a focus not of this world. It’s called living in God’s daily grace. Many years ago, while caring for my aging father, I began to learn the only way to stay above being overwhelmed with all I had to do, for however many days upon days, months upon months, or years upon years it would continue. Though my self-pitying prayer always concerned how much longer I would have to live this way, He guided me lovingly back to living in His grace for me . . . today. That was all I needed for the situation and the day – His daily grace.
You see, our Jesus is always with us – present tense – and His grace is always with us in the present, not the future. So, regarding this calendar year, listen to the prophetic voices if you want. Let Holy Spirit stir your hope and give you direction in the midst of it. Just remember, He won’t show you everything you will face this year because He knows it’s more than you can handle.2 But He will walk with you through every hour of every day, and His grace will be sufficient.
It’s amazing how much less power the negative stuff of life has over you when you choose to live with this daily grace mindset. You will find yourself looking up to Jesus and His grace in that peace that passes all natural understanding, even in the midst of unforeseen and severe troubles.
Because of the daily grace of our God in Christ Jesus, we can daily declare Psalm 118:24, regardless of what we face: This is the day the Lord has made; that’s why I will rejoice and be glad in it. (KPV – Kay’s personal version)