Almost everyone hopes the new year will be better than the last. Perhaps it will be the year that provides a better job. It may be the year you and your estranged mate reunite. It could be the year of turnaround for a wayward child. Hopefully, the year will bring contentment and freedom from angst. There are those who feel the past year was as good as it could possibly get, and just hope for their good fortune to continue. But I am afraid that, just as there are no two snowflakes alike, every year must be different. That is because we are different. We are older and hopefully wiser. Our lives are like snowballs rolling down life's hill; each year, the added life-experiences change us, and like an old tree, a new ring is added to who we are.
As Christians, we hope that we will become a lot less selfish, and much more Christ-like. We look forward to the possibly that this may be the year Christ returns for His Church. We know from past experiences, and from the Word of God, that we do not belong here; "this world is not my home, I'm just passing through." We long to see our Lord, and more than that, to be like Him. Yes, Christians also hope.
But what about those who do not have this hope? They do not "expect" Christ. They do not believe there is a God who has everything under control; that jobs, wars, health, and even death are determined by Him. They deny Him, and therefore, will never truly be at peace with their circumstances, regardless whether or not "things improve" this year. Though all their children are famous doctors; though they have retired in an exotic place living in a palatial mansion; though they win the lottery; they still must fear losing everything, and they especially fear death. To them, their hopes are for temporary pleasures and peace, but in the back of their minds, death is always looming, waiting, certain. And, whether they believe in the afterlife or not, whatever is good in this life will end.
I doubt that a non-Christian would take the time to read this, but just in case one does, I want to offer you the same hope we have as believers in Christ. The Bible teaches that Christ died to pay for your sins, that He was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-11) to be Lord of all who will call upon Him (Rom. 10:9-10). By accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you not only will have a great new year, you will have an awesome eternity! As a new person, everything that is past is gone, and everything will become new to you (2 Cor. 5:17). In reality, your hope is not merely for this coming year, but your hope is eternal (Titus 1:2)! So don't just start off this new year with a hope that things will be better; begin anew by placing all your hope in Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 1:1). You won't regret it!