31 December 2023
A promise for New Year’s Eve
… his compassions never fail. They are new every morning
… Lamentations 3: 22–23
In the middle of a catalogue of his afflictions, Jeremiah calls to mind the best reason for holding on to hope: God is consistently faithful. As the old year ends, whatever our circumstances, it is a time to look back, sorry for recurrent failure but so grateful for his unending faithfulness.
Each new year, each new day and every moment of our lives, he hears us when we call on him. Again and again he reassures us with his faithful promise, recorded in the scriptures as many times as there are days in the year: ‘Do not fear.’ (Lamentations 3: 57) So often there is a complementary promise alongside this one: ‘… for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1: 9)
Whatever faces you at the start of another year, whether you look forward in tranquillity or anticipate trouble, there is one certainty amongst all the possible uncertainties: God’s compassion never fails. There will always be grace to help you in your times of need. (Hebrews 4: 16) None of us can know what the future holds, but we can be assured that our God and Father holds each of us securely in his hand, and nothing can dislodge us. (John 10: 29) ‘Do not be afraid … For I am with you …’ (Acts 18: 9–10)
I, the Lord, am with thee,
Be not thou afraid!
I will help and strengthen,
Be thou not dismayed!
Yea, I will uphold thee
With My own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen
In My sight to stand.

He will never fail us,
He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant
He will never break!
Resting on His promise;
What have we to fear?
God is all-sufficient
For the coming year.
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–79)
Read: Numbers 13: 17–30; Isaiah 43: 18–19; 2 Peter 3: 11–14.