Holding on to Hope in the New Year

By the time you read this, a new year will have stepped onto the scene. Some will rush into it, admiring its promise of sparkling new beginnings and fresh starts. Others will enter with trepidation, aware of the hardships and adversity awaiting them on the path ahead. Whether you’re entering this year with expectation, uncertainty or a mixture of the two, one thing holds true. We’re all holding on to some degree of hope as we enter into this new year.

Hope. Oh, how we need it. 

The year 2020 brought with it the rearranging of schedules and rethinking of priorities. It placed a damper on short-term plans and long-term goals. For many, it launched greater challenges and deeper losses than ever expected. It stirred up waves of emotion within us. Fear. Anger. Loneliness. Insecurity. These and more became staples in many of our homes. 

Walking through these emotions has caused us to reflect. To question some of our beliefs.To long for truth and goodness and purpose like never before. To hold out for enough hope to carry us through our hardest days.

We’re hoping the good parts of normalcy will soon make their come back. When masks are no longer mandatory. When hugs are shared without hesitation. When communities once again embrace plain, old-fashion, in-person togetherness. When families and friends feel free to share their joys and hurts and everyday craziness face to face, shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart.

We’re hoping to escape the 2020 difficulties still chasing after us. As much as we’d love for our new calendars to be void of all our old problems, that’s simply not how life works. Many of the problems and difficulties we felt threatened by last year will follow us into this year. Some of those we’ll continue to dodge; others will tackle us despite our efforts to outrun them. Even so, we’ll keep on living and praying and hoping for the best.

We’re hoping tomorrow brings lots and lots of sunshine our way. Oh, how I love happy days! Days filled with laughter and love and all things good. Days that bring a smile to my face even as my eyes close for the night. Yes, happy days are the days we hope for most, especially when we find ourselves caught in a string of not-so-happy ones.

Friend, what is it you’re hoping for today?

Looking ahead to a life filled with better tomorrows and brighter futures is so important. But let’s be careful to not allow our hoping to end with the here-and-now happenings of this life.

Let’s be sure the hope we’re holding onto stretches beyond this life and into the next. This is the only hope that leaves us with true security. Even if this year doesn’t turn out as we had hoped. Even if life gets harder and loss gets greater. Even then, we can trust everything will be okay because our hope is tied to the truest source of hope, Jesus Christ. 

He is the hope that’s truly worth holding onto. 



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