God’s View of a New Year
By John McCoury
Roan Mountain, Tennessee
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
Real Living Solomon is not suggesting that working or eating is wrong. Many people enjoy doing both. But if life consists of only working and eating, then we are being controlled by our appetites, and that almost puts us on the same level as animals. As far as nature is concerned, self-preservation may be the first law of life. But we who are made in the image of God must live for something higher (John 12:20-28). In the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) self-preservation may well be the first law of death (Mark 8:34-38). Is Solomon telling us that we shouldn’t dream great dreams or have a burning ambition to accomplish something in life? Of course not, but we must take care that our ambition is motivated by the glory of God and not the praise from people. We must Want to serve others and not promote ourselves if we think our achievements will automatically bring satisfaction, we are wrong. True satisfaction comes doing the will of God from the heart (Eph. 6:6). “My food,” said Jesus” is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).
A new year! 2020! Before the year 2000, I tried to imagine how things would be twenty years later. Twenty years have passed since then. Much has changed, but God remains. How does God regard a new year? To us, the next twelve months lie cloudy by the limitations of our humanity. To God, the future is as clear as the past and present. We begin a year knowing there will be an end to it if time continues. But we cannot see what lies between the beginning and the end. We came to the end of a year yesterday. Today we put up new calendars to track the present and to plan the future. But do we meet all the appointments we mark on a calendar? If a day is unmarked a calendar does that prevent anything significant from happening on that day? What is the solution to such uncertainty? The God who knows, no new year understands our thoughts “afar off’ (Psalm 139:2). The new year though unknown before us, is like an open book before Him. December 31, 2019 doesn’t mean any to Him than January 1, 2020. God’s eternal view is an infinite perspective. His providence works without regard to time. The life that God gives may only last for a very short time. However, that life has fulfilled its purpose just as well as a saint who lives to be a hundred years old.
As you try to see what the new year will hold, don’t look too hard. Look at the face of God, who sees both you and the future that you can’t perceive. Then follow His infinitely wise direction toward eternity with Him. Look not for new things in the new year; rather seek for the Ancient of Days, who holds the new year.
John McCoury is pastor of Evergreen Freewill Baptist Church in Roan Mountain, Tennessee and the chaplain at Roan Highlands Nursing Center