A whole, brand new year. Nothing in it yet. No mistakes in it yet. Perfect. Spotless. New.
This is how we tend to think about the new year. A fresh slate, free for us to try again with the challenges we’ve failed at before. That’s what 2017 is: a second chance.
But let’s face it: we’re more than halfway through January already. If you haven’t broken your New Years Resolutins at all yet, you’re probably doing better than most of us. What about when February rolls around? Will you still be able to keep it up? Can you even imagine making it all the way through spring? Few people are out there who, by the time April passes, are still eating healthy foods, drinking enough water, getting eight hours of sleep, reading the Bible every day, or whatever your personal resolution might be.
If you succeed on your New Year’s resolutions, I commend you. That’s awesome.
But what if you don’t?
And the truth is, we fail at a lot more than just our resolutions. Not only do we give into that ice cream calling our name or stay up past midnight surfing Instagram, but we fail at much more serious things, too. We lie to our parents and justify it by telling ourselves It’s just this once. We gossip behind our best friend’s back to get back at her for what she did the other night. We flirt with guys in a way we shouldn’t. We’re self-centered.
We hurt people. We mess up. We sin. And we break God’s heart every time we do it.
How do we come back from those failures?
I have some incredible new for you. Our God is a God of forgiveness.
Yup, that’s right. Not only can He forgive our lack of self-control when it comes to giving up on our resolutions, He can also forgive the sins that look so much worse in our eyes. If you repent, meaning you come to Him incredibly sorry for what you did in a way that comes from your heart, He will forgive you through what His son Jesus did on the cross.
We all fail during the month of January because we are all dreadful sinners. But because of Jesus, we get another chance. Check out what Lamentations 3:22-23 says:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
That means today, tomorrow, the day after, and even the day after. Again and again and again God’s compassion and mercy and grace towards you are renewed. They will never, not once fail.
January 1st is not, then, your last chance to change, to start a new life with God. If it was, I assure you, you would fail miserably. Instead, every day, every moment is a brand new chance. A fresh slate, free for us to try again with the challenges we’ve failed at before.
We have new mercies from Him because our God is a faithful, compassionate God who longs for you to accept His the second chance he offers you. And the third. And the fourth. And he fifth. And again and again and again.
If you failed on January 1st, thank God for your January 2nd.