A New Year Prayer: When The New Year May Not Be Any Better Than The Old Year -- By: Mark McGinniss

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 22:2 (Fall 2018)
Article: A New Year Prayer: When The New Year May Not Be Any Better Than The Old Year
Author: Mark McGinniss


A New Year Prayer: When The New Year May Not Be Any Better Than The Old Year

Mark McGinniss1

My remembrance of Dr. Bill Arp ZTz”L:2 Although Bill was not the most impassioned preacher, Bill’s dry wit, consistent alliteration, and faithfulness to the argument of the author made every one of his NT and OT messages extremely beneficial. I remember one particular message in 2008. Bill had just been cut to part- time because of budget constraints. The following week he preached on Psalm 13, ending with complete confidence in God. Although no one except the faculty knew the backstory to his message, we recognized how personal this message was for him to live and preach.

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As we stand on the brink of a new year, we are filled with hope that this year will be better than last. We hope the current year will not be filled with the frustrations, problems, sufferings and heartaches of the previous year. As we start the new year, we have hopes and dreams that this year will be better than the last. We hope we will not be followed by the same tribulations and concerns of the past year.

But what happens when the difficulties of the first year are not changed in the next year? What will you do when the calendar may have changed into a new work year, but your life situation has not?

Psalm 13 is a psalm that shows us how to respond to life when it does not look like the new year is going to change,

when a holiday as grand as New Years does not deliver on its promise to be better. We hope the change in calendar from December 31 to January 1 will put the question of “how long” to rest, but what if the question lingers into February, March and beyond? Let’s face it—we all have been there (or are there). We have all asked the question “how long?”

While the “how long” question is not unique to each of us, its exact wording is: How long must I put up with this problem? How long must I put up with his whining? How long must I put up with her? How long will life be hard? How long will I be without a job? How long must we live here? How long must I struggle to make financial ends meet? How long must I fight to fit one more needy person into an already too tight schedule? How long do I suffer the effects of his sin? How long must I deal with the stress at work? How long must I deal with the stress in the family? How long must I put up with yet another disappointment? How long must I deal with this physical o...

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