Dear friends, a new year is not always good news, but I am inclined to think that this one will be, at least for me.
The reason is that 2013 was, in many respects, the worst year of my life, and therefore 2014 must be an improvement.
A year ago, I was just entering a dark period, darker than I could have expected, particularly in my mind; but now I have every reason to hope for better things.
However, I do not want to rely on flimsy reasonings like this, true though I think they are, when I have the infallible Word of God to trust in.
In particular, there is the hope of righteousness by faith. His promise runs like this: Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:4-5).
This is the most unequivocal good news there could be. It takes the way of righteousness out of our hands and places it in the hands of God alone. This is what God is like: he is the One who justifies the ungodly. Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Our God is the God of all grace. There is no longer a dark cloud overshadowing our approach to him.
No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, and all in him are mine!
Alive in him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.