Big D and I are hanging out in his room tonight, this the last of 2013. Even just a few weeks ago, we'd have never guessed that the year would end like this, but here we are. I'm tempted to do a year-end retrospective tonight, but I think I'll need to save that for another day.
What I will say tonight is that I do join everyone in saying, "Happy New Year" tonight. I hope that your new year brings much happiness. But more than that, I hope that your new year brings blessings and joy. I say that because happiness, like all emotions, will come and go. There will be happy moments, and profoundly unhappy ones. But, with apologies to our southern neighbours' founding fathers, pursuing happiness is, as one very wise man once said, a "chasing after the wind". Happiness, while a great thing, isn't the ultimate thing.
My hope for you is that you experience what it means to be blessed. We often talk of material things as blessings, but true blessing is found through Jesus. True blessing is something that this world will never be able to give you, and it is something that will last forever.
And my hope is that you will find true joy. Joy is like happiness, but with a different object. It's that same sense of pleasure and delight that describes happiness, but happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is pleasure and delight based solely on the love of God for you in Jesus. It sustains you even when you aren't happy. And you'll find joy in the strangest of places, the strangest of circumstances.
So may your new year be happy, absolutely, but more than that, may you find true blessing and joy this year.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.