“Happy New Year?”

                The New Year is here. It is a new beginning for some and more of the same for most. The hype and excitement of this New Year, will quickly wear off in the next few days or weeks.

                “Happy New Year!”

                We often say this phrase to each other at midnight on December 31st. most of us probably believe (or want to believe) that this “magical” phrase will somehow transport us to a land of fairies and elves, where everyone is happy all the time.

                Is it biblical to wish everyone a happy new year? Does God want you to be happy all the time?

                To begin with, I don’t believe it is humanly possible to be always happy. Happiness is a human emotion and therefore it fluctuates. Our happiness is circumstantial; therefore we will not be able to be happy at all times (unless you are a robot, of course).

                I cannot be happy when I sin or make a mistake. I am not able to laugh hysterically when I am sick, amid problems and attacks or when I or someone close to me experiences failure or loss. In these and similar circumstances, no one is expected to be “happy” and full of laughter and smiles.               

                On the other hand, the Bible expects and even commands God’s children to be always joyful.

                Philippians 4:4 says:

                “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

                Joy is not based on any circumstance. We can be joyful at all times because joy is not a feeling or emotion, but as Theopedia defines it, it is: “…a state of mind and an orientation of the mind. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope.”

                Joy is a confidence and assurance grounded in the finished work of Christ on the cross. We can be joyful even in hard times, knowing that God is with us in every situation and that He is in total control and has a plan for us even in our trials.

                James wrote about it:

                “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2, 3)

                Telling others, to have a “Happy New Year” is nice, but is not biblical, because it is impossible to have a full and happy year on this earth. Instead we should wish for them to have a blessed or joyful year, which is only possible for those that love and follow Jesus.

                I hope and pray that you have a year full of Jesus and all the blessings of his grace. I pray that you live in peace, joy, hope and love and that you also enjoy many happy days as you walk with your Lord.

                A. G.

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