Faith & Insight: God’s mercies are renewed every day

Brian Underwood

Brian Underwood

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This New Year’s, I’ve resolved to lead a better life. Now, all I have to do is find someone who will trade lives with me. At the end of the year, especially one filled with more hardship than happiness, the juxtaposition of this classic one-liner line pitting optimism and skepticism isn’t hard to understand.

Generally speaking, most years seem to have their own unique blend of triumphs and trials, though our strongest memories tend to shade the year one way or the other.

For many, however, life’s challenges seem more like the repeating scene of Bill Murray in the comedy movie Groundhog Day where every day is a repeat of the one before but is often no laughing matter.

The hopelessness that far too many feel on days like these can often be traced to crushing burdens. Be they personal or relational, social or emotional, or professional and/or financial, the unbearable weight of challenges brought on by grief and sorrow can be overwhelming. And for as counterintuitive as it may seem to intervene in moments of such intense vulnerability, it is precisely in times like these the Lord calls us to share his great love.

The Book of Lamentations in the Bible is a series of poems that poignantly proclaim God’s law in the need to confess our sins and repentance, but also beautifully remind us of one of my favorite reminders of our redemption.

“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

What I especially love about this passage is the perfect clarity of God’s love for us. The prophet Jeremiah’s rhythmic use of parallelism bound by absolutes makes clear that God’s love never ceases, his mercies never end, and, what’s more, his grace is renewed every morning.

The Gregorian calendar we follow shows Jan. 1 is New Year’s Day. However, this is not God’s calendar, and neither are our ways his. In God’s eye, we are redeemed and made new every day through God’s grace, found in the coming and completion of Jesus’ work on the cross. More simply, we are washed clean every day.

And so, while we are prone to bind ourselves to temporal matters, God is focused on our journey to eternity with him, and no matter what we’ve done, nothing can separate us from Christ’s love.

In Romans 8:31-32, the Apostle Paul reminds us that “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?... No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:35 & 37

For the believer, these words are both a stirring and comforting reminder of God’s love. But what of the one who doesn’t know Jesus Christ, and/or has difficulty comprehending and receiving this free gift?

This is where the body of Christ is called to witness and bring the good news of salvation to the lost. This is where we have the opportunity to share God’s promises, and to help the hopeless know they are loved and to encourage them to receive that love. This is where we encourage them to pray and hold in their hearts, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

So, with New Year’s peeking just over the horizon, take not only the time to remember and hold dear that God’s mercies are renewed every day, but to also consider sharing with those who do not know him that God loved us enough that he sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and rise again so that those who profess his name and hold him in their hearts would have everlasting life. That is a New Year’s promise to hang your party hat on.

Brian Underwood is head of Mission Outreach & Development at Sierra Lutheran High School. 


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