As we start the new year, maybe you’re feeling raring and ready to tackle whatever the year brings. But many of us, if we take a really honest look, might discover a little weariness or worry in some places.
Wherever you find yourself, here are six encouraging Bible verses for the new year that you can hold on to. They’re not just nice words, these verses are promises. You can take these scriptures like medicine, as a soothing reminder of God’s goodness over your life even when things feel uncertain.
1. ‘You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.’ Psalm 65:11 (NKJV)
This was my first pick of encouraging Bible verses for the new year, because it’s a reminder that God will sustain you. This Psalm of thanksgiving is thought to have been written after a year with lots of rain, resulting in a great harvest. David speaks of how God, through his kindness, blessed his people with ‘fatness’ – they would not go hungry because God provided a plentiful harvest of food to sustain them for another year.
Maybe last year felt plentiful to you, and maybe it didn’t at all. Maybe this year you’re worried about physical sustenance like food on the table, or maybe you’re concerned about finances or family. Rest in this: God promises to sustain you for another year.
2. ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
Here, Paul writes to thank the church in Philippi for sending him aid during his travels. He explains that by remembering and giving to Paul in his time of need, their gifts have been received as pleasing sacrifices to God. Paul then says that God will meet their needs in the same way.
This past year, just as you’ve given so generously to others with your time, money, service and prayer to those in need, God promises to meet your needs.
3. ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”’ Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Of course, Jeremiah 29:11 might feel like an obvious choice to put in post about ‘encouraging Bible verses for the new year’. It’s certainly one that, if you’ve been in church a long time, you’ll have heard on numerous occasions. But what does it actually mean that the same God who promised hope to those in exile is also extending hope to you today?
The Aramaic (Hebrew) word here for ‘hope’ actually means ‘thing that I long for’. God wants to give us the deepest desires of our hearts.
‘A future’ means a ‘happy close of life, suggesting sometimes the idea of posterity, promised to the righteous’. The promise of hope and a future isn’t just for you, it’s for your family, your children, and their children. It’s an unbreakable, eternal hope.
(The generational promise of this verse reminds me of Cody Carnes’ ‘The Blessing’, a worship song that’s been sung in many churches over the last two years. Perhaps you could give it a listen and let his promises wash over you today.)
4. ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Whatever is going on in your life, God promises to hold you up, hold you tight and not let go. He surrounds you, supports you, and makes you strong and courageous. The word ‘strengthen’ here also means ‘fortify’, meaning he surrounds you with his protection, sheltering you from harm. Strength is not yours to muster up, and neither is courage. Instead, he actually promises to give it to you.
5. ‘I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.’ Malachi 3:6 (NIV)
One thing we can hold on to when faced with change and uncertainty is that God does not change. His goodness never ceases, his mercies never end. His love is unfailing and unwavering. Rest in the promise that because he does not change, facing uncertainty and the unknown cannot destroy you.
6. ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:6–8 (NIV)
This year, maybe you have a list of prayers and petitions longer than ever before. Maybe your world has been turned upside down and it’s hard to know what to even pray for first. Maybe you came here in search of encouraging Bible verses for the new year because your new year feels overwhelming already.
Fear not. Peace is yours. God tells us to present every request to him (he also promises in Romans 8:26–27 to pray for us on our behalf when we can’t find the words) and promises us peace in return. God promises us his peace that goes beyond logic and circumstance and actually guards our hearts and minds, no matter what is going on around us.
We can have peace no matter what. The peace of God means peace of mind, undisturbed quietness, welfare and rest. It also means God’s gift of wholeness. This year, you can experience wholeness despite the brokenness around you.
I hope that these six encouraging Bible verses for the new year are promises you can return to over and over again as the year progresses. This year, we may not know what’s in store, but God does, and he promises us goodness, provision, protection and peace through it all. I pray that you’d discover his joy and peace in new ways this year as you hold on to his promises.
(And if, like me, you connect with God through worship, I wanted to leave you with one more song to listen to. This one is written from God’s point of view, and is chock-full of his promises and the truth of who he is. May it become an anthem for your year – it’s certainly going to be mine. Listen now.)