New Year’s Day – Friday
I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. – Genesis 28:15.
Today you enter a new year, O Christian, and you know not what it has in store for you. In Christ, God has given you the most solemn assurances of His grace, of protection, of guidance on your pilgrimage to the eternal home.
Enemies will waylay you, oppose you—enemies cruelly armed with deep guile and great might. But God will stand between you and them. And if your eyes were opened as were Jacob’s (Genesis 32:1-2), you would see the angels of God meet you, and you would shout: “This is God’s host!” Open your spiritual eyes, see in faith, and shout in joy and in the assurance of victory! He has given His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways.
And yet, it may come to pass that you will fear—fear greatly, because of some threatening danger or other. For your flesh faints and is despondent. Then shall you pray and cry out in remembrance of the promises God has given to you. That is the proper thing to do. And yet, it may seem at times as if God is against you. He may appear to meet you as an enemy, as He did with Jacob (Genesis 32:24-30), in order to test your faith. Oh, then hold fast to God, as Jacob did, and say: “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” And He will bless you; and you shall shout again: “My life is preserved!” And God will help you and lead you in the paths of righteousness, and will finally, this year or another, bring you home—home!
All this He promises to you. And He says: “I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” Now, with joy and confidence, say: “Amen.”
PRAYER. – Lord God, dear Heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the sure and comforting promises which Thou hast given me in Christ Jesus, and that Thou hast faithfully fulfilled them even to this day. I pray Thee to continue to do so, and not to remove the protection that I so desperately need, until Thou hast done that which Thou hast spoken to me, and brought me safely home to heaven. O Lord, Thou art faithful. Give me Thy Holy Spirit, that, trusting in Thy Word, and led by Thy hand – with all joy and confidence – I may enter upon the new year, indeed, face the whole future before me, hastening to my eternal home. Amen.
The new-born Child this early morn, The dear Christ-child of virgin born, Again brings from His heavenly home A new year to all Christendom.
This causes joy to angels fair, Who love to keep us in their care; They sing that in this wondrous Child God now with man is reconciled.
Since God is reconciled with men, What harm can Satan do us then? O’er Satan and the gates of hell This Christ-child shall for us prevail.
He brings the year of jubilee! Why doubt we yet despondently? Cheer up! This is a joyous day, The Christ-child drives all care away.
Hymn 169. (ELHB)