a new year reflection
 
A new year reflection by A.W. Tozer, from “This World: Playground or Battleground?”

The custom of dividing time into years is of course altogether arbitrary and even a bit awkward. It requires a clear mind to remember that time is no servant of the calendar and that years do not come in neat packages like corn flakes. Nor do they come in nicely finished sections like a string of sausages. 

In one sense a new year begins whenever we decide it shall. The various peoples of the world have not been in full agreement about their year's end and its new beginning, but we can start a new year whenever we purpose to rearrange our lives morally and invite Christ to become our Lord and Saviour. At that moment we become new creatures– a ‘new name is written down in glory’ and our new year begins. That moral rearrangement we call repentance, and the act of making a new creature we call regeneration. The soul that has experienced such a wondrous transformation is likely to place more emphasis upon that new start than he or she does upon our official New Year's Day. 
As Christians we look at everything differently. The world knows what it trusts and what it wants– it knows its treasures and what constitutes them; it knows what it must have to make it happy and successful during the year ahead. Christians feel altogether different about the whole thing, and in doing so they are not simply being contrary– they are following the sure wisdom of the kingdom of God. They know they are sons and daughters of eternity and are not dependent upon the things of time. 
People of the world, for instance, hope for life, health, financial prosperity, international peace and a set of favourable circumstances. These are their resources– upon them they rest. They look to them as a child looks to its nursing mother. 
Christians do not despise these temporal blessings, and if they come to them, they sanctify them by receiving them with prayers of outpoured gratitude to God. But they know their everlasting welfare is not dependent upon them. These blessings may come or go, but true Christians abide in God where no evil can touch them and where they are rich beyond all the power of their minds to conceive– and this altogether apart from earthly circumstances. 
Christians hope for peace, but if war comes it cannot rob them of anything essential to their eternal welfare. They hope for peace but are prepared to lay down their lives if they must, for the sake of righteousness. They hope for financial success, but if it passes them by, they have learned to be content with such things as they have. They hope that the world will be kind to them, but if it is not, they will not get panicky, because they remember the words spoken by our Lord, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). 
The world's resources are good in their way, but they have this fatal defect– they are uncertain and transitory. Today we have them, tomorrow they are gone. It is this way with all earthly things since sin came to upset the beautiful order of nature and made the human race victims of chance and change. 
We desire for all of God's children a full measure of every safe and pure blessing which the earth and the sky might unite to bring them. But if in the sovereign will of God things go against us, what do we have left? If war overflows her banks in blood, if persecutions come, if life and health are placed in jeopardy, what about our everlasting resources? 

If the world's foundations crumble we still have God, and in Him we have everything essential to our ransomed beings forever. We have Christ, who also died for us and who now sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens making constant and effective intercession for us. We have the Scriptures, which can never fail. We have the Holy Spirit to interpret the Scriptures to our inner lives and to be to us a Guide and a Comforter. We have prayer and we have faith, and these bring heaven to earth and turn even bitter Marah sweet. And if worse comes to worst here below, we have our Father's house and our Father's welcome. Saturday, 7 January 2012