• Chris Steele

Rejoice in God’s Blessings

Chris' corner -- Sunday, January 3, 2021

Saying “Good-bye” to an old year and “Hello” to a new one, we might think the older we get such a routine would become old and worn out. However, most everyone finds some degree of excitement and an elevated spirit when a new year rolls around. The prospect of a new beginning, fresh opportunities, and a hope for better times, stirs all of us, no matter how old we are.

From a purely technical perspective, there’s no difference between December 31 and January 1 as far as the clock is concerned. Even though the number of the year has changed on the calendar, there has been no change in the way one day ends and another begins. We may wish each other to have a good day, vacation, summer, or semester at school, but time doesn’t change. The minutes just keep ticking along.

Even so, there is something refreshing about the new year. “Happy New Year!” expresses thoughts of hope, goodness, and blessings for the next 365 days.

For Christians, we have greater blessings of a spiritual nature to enjoy. Oh, it’s great to have sufficient goods and services to make our lives more comfortable. It’s wonderful to have good health and days without pain or discomfort. Who doesn’t find great relief in being free from concerns that can weigh us down mentally and emotionally?

These earthly physical blessings, no matter how great and appreciated, do not begin to compare to the spiritual blessings we have by being God’s children. Paul introduces us to the truth of spiritual blessings, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

In Paul’s writings, he identifies many blessings: redemption, eternal life, no condemnation, “free from the law of sin and death,” the love of God, being members of one body (Romans 3:24; 6:23; 8:1, 2, 39; 12:5). We are sanctified, wise, have hope, made alive in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 1:2; 4:10; 15:19, 22). We are led by God in triumph, a new creation, reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 2:14; 5:17, 19). We have liberty, are justified by faith, have the promise of the Spirit, are children of God, one, a new creation (Galatians 2:4,16; 3:14, 28; 6:15).

“God...raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:4–7).

Paul told his good friend Philemon, “that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philemon 6).

HAPPY NEW YEAR takes on greater meaning when we think of all the blessings we have—both physically and spiritually. Remember, every day is new, given to us by God. “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

To God be the glory and praise for giving His people good days and good years. We express our gratitude for every blessing we receive from His great and benevolent hand. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

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