Happy New Year?

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

Philippians 4.4

We’ve all said it or heard it a hundred times: “Happy New Year!” It’s a seasonal greeting, a way of acknowledging that according to the Gregorian calendar, we’ve just begun a new numbered year – in this case, 2024. But for most of us, it’s nothing more than that – like when we say “How’re you doing?” without expecting a meaningful reply.

But for a moment, think of those words: “Happy New Year!” That may be a hopeful greeting for some: “I hope this year is happy!” But what is that hope based on? Do we really think that world events are looking up?! The moral decay of culture is only exceeded by international instability, terrorism, and the threat of war. Every year brings a litany of disasters (Japan rang in the new year with a deadly earthquake!), bombs (Hamas, Hezbollah, and Israel traded bombs on Jan. 1), terrorism (what attacks like October 7th will 2024 bring?), sickness, and death.

In light of the anguish and pain that each year brings, it may seem counterintuitive to glibly greet others with a cheerful “Happy New Year,” but that’s only if the sum of your future expectation is what this life will bring you. If you know the Author of life, and Creator of the universe, and the Lover of mankind, you can experience the “abundant life” Jesus promised every day, knowing that no matter what happens, He makes all things ‘work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose’ (Rom. 8.28). Far greater than this is our ‘blessed hope of the appearing of our God and Savior, Christ Jesus’ (Titus 2.13)! We can rest in the knowledge that – as the old chorus puts it, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…because I know He holds the future, I can face tomorrow, just because He lives!”

So despite my assurance that 2024 will bring many events that are anything but “happy,” I can and will keep saying, “Happy New Year,” because I know the God of the universe, I am His child, nothing can separate me from His love, Jesus has saved me, and He is coming again. And just maybe, it will be this year!


Violence and wars are on every side,

Evil spreads ever more,

But don’t lose hope, for Christ may come,

In 2024!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *