The Psalmist reminds us that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He invites us to cease from our strivings; to be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
When the world becomes a scary place, when darkness overwhelms us and uncertainly causes us to lose faith, the Psalmist encourages us to turn to God, When I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3).
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8).
A 'New Year often brings a sense of letting go what has been and 'starting over', both of which are part of the on-going cycle of endings and beginnings we experience as human beings. But at the same time we are encouraged in God's word to remain steadfast; to hold on to, to abide with. Jesus invites us to remain in, to abide in Him (John 15:4) and James encourages us, to draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). The Apostle Paul calls us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). The writer of Hebrews reminds us that in the Lord we have hope; a hope that serves as an anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6:19).
For all the emphasis on starting over, a fresh beginning, a new perspective that the New Year brings, the Bible reminds us that our faith in Christ provides for us a firm foundation upon which to build our lives; it gives to us a measure of hope and joy and peace, in a world which is sometimes a dark and scary place. And so I cycle back to the message you have heard over and over again at Valley and remind you as we come into another New Year, that living a life of faith in Jesus Christ really is the best possible way for us to journey through our days on earth. And such a life of faith is what we are called to in 2016.
May the New Year bring you a sense of His abiding peace and joy as you walk by faith and hold to the One who has promised, I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).