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.
When I think of black days in my life, I think of sadness, destruction and despair. Why would we as Americans call the day after we celebrate Thanksgiving “Black Friday”?
As I read in the dictionary the words “grateful” and “thankful” I do not read anything about darkness, but on the contrary about happiness, joy, appreciation and love for others.
Merriam Webster defines it this way:
Grateful - A feeling or showing appreciation for something done or received. The act of gratefulness is memorable and can live for a long time
Thankful - an appreciation of benefits received. It is a way of expressing appreciation with or without an act.
We live in a world full of hate, despair, ingratitude, sadness, loneliness. Through all these we are called to be grateful and thankful.
"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His loving-kindness (graciousness, mercy, and compassion) endures forever” (Psalm 107:1 emphasis added)
“Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
This year especially has been a tough one for our family during this thankful celebration. We have had death, sickness, separation, family problems and so on, as have so many others in the body of Christ. Yet we do not despair; we do not lose hope and we will not stop giving thanks.
When we praise the Lord, we take the eyes off our daily troubles and struggles and trust in Him who bore all the pain of Calvary to give us life. He died on the real Black Friday, when the dark sin of mankind was placed upon Him.
The fake and materialistic Black Friday is yet another futile attempt by the enemy to displace our desire to praise God on Thanksgiving Day. The real Black Friday not only displaced the power of sin and darkness, but destroyed it completely forever by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. The real Black Friday was not a one day sale, but it is an eternal fountain of Living Water from which God’s free and forgiving grace flows.
Brothers and sisters may all our days be as clear, bright and merry as Thanksgiving Day in November. May we always be grate (full) and thank (full) for we serve a Great God.
Alex and Mayra Gonzalez