Faith & Insight: How to have a happy New Year

Well, it’s all over! The trash has been put out and decorations are beginning to be taken down and put away. Whew! What’s next?

How many times in the next two weeks will you be greeted with these words, “Happy New Year!”? I believe that’s something we all want to have — a happy year. How can we go about having exactly that? I have a few suggestions. Let’s spell it out: HAPPY.

To have a happy year, we’ve got to have some HAPPINESS.

One Bible translation uses the word happy 25 times, but words akin to the word joy are used 410 times. My favorite is in Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Notice the location of true joy and happiness — “in the Lord.” Those who are in God have a better start on a happy New Year!

Secondly, for a happy year, let’s show some APPRECIATION. I think most of us like to be appreciated, but are we showing any of that to other people? Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another ...” People all around us are being taken for granted! Let’s show some appreciation. Maybe we’ll get some too.

Next, if I’m going to have a happy year, I believe it must include PRAYER. We’re so busy rushing about, meeting deadlines, taking care of responsibilities, and doing things; we scarcely have time to breathe.

This time I quote Paul from Philippians 4:6-7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Real happiness has a spiritual peace about it — a piece that comes through prayer.

I have recently come to the conclusion if I’m to have a happy year, it needs to be a year of PRAISE. The Book of Psalms uses the word praise 150 times. “Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 148:1). I often find myself so preoccupied with daily living, I miss the gentle breeze, the lovely sunset, and the natural beauty of God everywhere. At the root of the believer’s happiness is the ability to stop, look, listen, and praise God.

Finally, if the year is to be a happy one, I think I need to have a deep, spiritual YEARNING. The psalmist penned, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42). A yearning for a closer relationship with God keeps us going and growing and happy.

So, allow me to wish you a very happy New Year!

Bruce Henderson, minister, Airport Road Church of Christ,


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