The January column and podcast is now available. If you would like to read previous columns to go the Hope for Today Blog. If you would like to listen to the Hope for Today podcast you can access it on iTunes.

As a sunrise means the start of a new day, so January means the start of a new year.  Our world is filled with examples of new starts.  The toss of a coin on a football field is the start of a new game, the exchange of vows in a wedding ceremony is the start of a new life-long relationship and the first day on a job is the start of new opportunities.  Examples of new starts are all around us.  They can teach us a few things.

First, they teach us about perseverance.  Life can make us weary.  It can make us feel like giving up and saying to ourselves, “I can’t do this anymore.”  However, January can be a new start.  Will you give up or accept that last year is gone and renew your commitment to give your best and keep pressing onward?           

Second, a new start teaches us about opportunity.  January shouts saying, “Hey, it is a new year what are you going to do with it?”  We may have opportunities to begin a new career, help someone who is in need, or fulfill a lifelong dream.  Will we allow them to come and go or will we rise up, seize these opportunities and do our best with the chances we have been given?            

Third, a new start teaches us about the grace of God.  As New Year’s Day symbolizes the occasion to commence a better year, so the grace of God is the chance to inaugurate the start of a new and redeemed life.

As we have done nothing to cause the rising of the morning sun, so we have done nothing to earn this grace of God and the redemption it provides.  What is this amazing grace?  It is an expression of God’s love shown through the death and resurrection of His Son whom provided the forgiveness of sins our hearts desperately need. 

The Scriptures say, “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).Today, draw near to God and seek His grace that His love may wash you clean and place within you a new heart and mind.  Indeed, may His love be your hope for today and this new year.