New Year, New You? | Teen Life Christian Youth Articles, Daily Devotions

New Year, New You?

Are you ready for a fresh start in 2022? Don't look inward, look upward.

Ok, I admit it. I am a MASSIVE stationery junkie. Notebooks, pens (even the smelly pens that make you think of grapes), battery-operated pencil sharpeners - I love, love, love it!

Going back to school often made me feel a little depressed after the fun of holidays, but it was always made a little easier by that new stuff: the pencil case, pens, folders and yes, the new, unwritten, pristine and clear diary. A new diary said lots of things. New year. New chances. New opportunities. Nothing tied down, no old burdens, just new, fresh, exciting times ahead. These days, I just use my phone and Google calendar to keep track of my diary obligations, but there is still something exciting about an empty diary page.

What has the new year meant for you?

Now that you’re facing the back-to-school blues, are you looking forward to everything being the same as always, or are you hoping for a fresh start, too?

I think sometimes we love the new year because we’re really yearning for what God wants to give us: a clean break.

The past is often full of mistakes and burdens: things we did wrong, embarrassing times we desperately want to forget, hurtful things that others have done to us, too.

The new year often promises to be a clean start, but often the problems travel with us - we still mess up, others still let us down, some people won’t let us forget. We’re still not in that restful place we call heaven.

A fresh start

The best news is that God offers us a REAL fresh start. Not a new diary that will be filled soon enough, but a new self - a redeemed, saved, re-born self. Our old created selves are weighed down with sin, so no matter how many new starts we try to make, we’re never going to be able to save ourselves.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, ... But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1,4&5)

I am really grateful that God gave me a fresh start through Jesus. I know that He loves me, that Jesus died for me, and that because of that I am forgiven and able to live as a member of God’s family.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

I couldn’t make a fresh start for myself, but God was able to make me new through Jesus. Being alive with Christ is the best fresh start anyone can ever hope for.

Is that the kind of fresh start you want to have, too?