“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
I am writing this article in January. We are beginning the year with a time of forty days dedicated to prayer and fasting. Thousands of people from our church and around the world, through the Internet, join us each in their own way as men and women, couples, young and old alike come to our church to pray in dozens of prayer gatherings so that each believer may begin the New Year with a renewed and refreshed resolution and resolve before God.
In Quebec, as in many other places in the world, the beginning of each year is often a time for commitments and resolutions. In our province there is an amazing “folklore” of New Year resolutions. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television shows publish lists and suggestions for all kinds of resolutions and “New Beginnings.” For example, thousands make the resolution to lose weight and to sign up at a gym. I work out regularly, and have done so for more than twenty years, and every January brings about the same phenomenon: a new crop of power athletes who make their way to the gym. They show up in their designer sneakers and outfits, they have the “eye of the tiger,” and they usually enter with check in hand to pay for a one-year membership.
A friend of mine who owns a fitness center explained to me once that he knows very well the number of people who join up in January will cause such an increase in volume, and demand for
equipment and space that his gym can never meet it. However, there is an inescapable and invariable fact that he can always count on, year after year: over eighty percent of those who paid their one-year fee in full will have vanished from the gym before Easter. They will torture themselves for a while, ache in places and with muscles they never knew they had, and then succumb to junk food and the tyranny of life as a couch potato with the remote control as their best friend.
In the spiritual realm, every day is an opportunity for new beginnings. The very essence of our God is that His mercy is new every morning. All His power, His goodness, and His desire of peace and fulfillment for us, as well as the limitless fullness of His redemption, burst forth afresh, totally new and available on a daily basis!
__________Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.