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2024 Bible

Choose A Happy New Year

Choose A Happy New Year
By Nathele Graham

Here we go again. We hear it over and over. “Happy New Year”. That’s something we all want, but how do you define it? Wouldn’t it better to wish others the joy of the Lord? That joy isn’t dependent upon material possessions.

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:” – Psalm 146:5.

Quite often we chose to be happy or choose to be unhappy. Our happiness depends a lot upon how we view the world around us. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a heartache or two, or who isn’t facing challenges in life. If we focus our attention on all that’s wrong, we choose to be unhappy. A pessimist is a person who only sees the problems. Too often we forget to look for joy in life. Joy to the world, the Lord is come!!! If our joy and happiness depend upon our material possessions or our personal health, then we tend to forget that Jesus Christ came to save us from our sin and bring eternal life. That fact should bring us great joy and happiness in each new day.

What do you seek? What would make you happy? I can think of lots of things that “if I only had” I would be very happy. The interesting thing is that all those “things” are temporary. Would good health make me happy? I do have a few health issues, but nothing major. I could stand to lose about ten pounds, and I’m sure I’d be happy if I lost them. But, in order to lose 10 pounds, I need to stop eating all those wonderful goodies, and that doesn’t make me happy. Such a dilemma. Maybe a new car would make me happy. My car is getting old, and there are a few things that I should get repaired. It still looks nice, but a new one would look so much better. Of course, my car is paid for and the insurance is lower than on a new one. I guess it would be wiser to be happy with the car I have. It seems that unhappiness in life comes from looking at what other people have and coveting it. What does Jesus say?

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33.

How do you interpret that verse? Do you think that if you seek God first, He will give you everything you desire? Wrong. That interpretation comes from taking a verse out of context. We need to read all the verses in order to get the full meaning. Jesus was talking to a crowd about being content and trusting God to provide for our needs, not our wants.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” – Matthew 6:25.

Television commercials and magazine ads would have us believe otherwise. They make us believe we need a new car, or name brand clothing from expensive stores. Jesus says:

“Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” – Matthew 6:26.

We need to learn to be content with what we have and not chase after things that will wear out and rust.

“Therefore take no thought saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” – Matthew 6:31-32.

If we look for material things and base our happiness on having these things, we will never be happy, content, or have true joy and peace.

What should we seek after? What will truly bring a happy new year?

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” – Psalm 37:4.

Seek God and His ways. Seek to draw closer to our Lord and His righteousness. It might surprise you to see that seeking a closer walk with Christ will bring much happiness. Maybe the new year will be happier if you re-think what it takes to make you happy. Tradition tells us to make resolutions at this time of year. How long do your resolutions last? A week? A month? Diets get old after a few days, and resolving to get the bills paid doesn’t last long either. Why not resolve that for today, you will delight yourself in the Lord; make time to study Scripture and to apply it to your life? Instead of racing through the Bible in a year, stop and study verses and see how you can apply them to your life. Find out what Scripture says about marriage. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians tells us about how the marriage between a man and a woman is like the love that Christ has for His church. What’s the difference between judging and discernment? You can learn the difference by studying God’s word. Here’s an important study…prophecy. The world seems to be in great turmoil with no peace in sight. Didn’t Christ come to bring peace on earth? When the heavenly host praised God and met with the shepherds at Christ’s birth, they said:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:14.

There has never been peace between human enemies, but Christ’s birth meant peace with God. Instead of the gulf of separation caused by Adam’s sin, we have reconciliation with God when we believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, then repent and turn to Him for forgiveness of our sin. No matter what the world throws our way, we have peace with God. The Apostle Paul had lots of turmoil in his life, but wrote:

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7.

Paul chose the peace that comes from Christ.

Jesus entered His creation at a time when there was much turmoil in Israel. The Romans ruled, and they weren’t very peaceful rulers. How could anybody be happy living under the Roman tyrants? Jesus knew He was going to be crucified, and He wanted His disciples to find peace that only comes from knowing Christ.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27.

We can only have a happy New Year if we find peace that only comes from knowing Christ and trusting Him. We have a choice. We can love the world and all the treasures found there, which will all be left behind when we die, or we can choose to seek the eternal happiness that comes from seeking the eternal treasures found in Christ.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21.

Treasure stored in Heaven will bring much happiness for eternity.

We do have a choice. A new year filled with pursuing earthly treasure for selfish gain, or seeking the Kingdom of God. One choice will always bring disappointment and never satisfy, but seeking the treasures of God will bring peace and happiness for eternity. Treasure gained in this world is usually hoarded and never enough, but much joy and happiness is gained when we share the Heavenly truth with others. Choose to have a happy new year, by choosing to serve Christ.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham
[email protected]

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” – Psalm 122:6.

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