The Frozen II soundtrack has been on repeat in my home over the past few weeks. On it, there are two songs that stand in contrast to one another. The first is “Some Things Never Change,” which is about the desire for some things in life to remain constant and true. But Elsa’s song, “Into the Unknown,” is a song about stepping out of the ordinary and into something new. It’s a song that foreshadows the changes that are coming for Anna, Elsa, and friends.
While the songs and feelings seem in contrast, they both remind me of the longings we all tend to have, particularly around the New Year. The New Year brings with it the longing for change – that somehow this year will be better than last, that things will be different, that maybe this year we’ll finally be able to stick to our goals and become a new and better version of ourselves. Yet at the turn of the year (and even more so at the turn of a decade), there’s also the feeling of nostalgia and remembrance. And while we may find ourselves yearning for change and newness, we are also creatures of habit who long for stability and desire to grasp and keep the things we know and love in this life. As a mom, I find myself feeling this tension as I look forward to the next season of my children’s growth while simultaneously wishing they’d stay little forever. We anticipate change, and we yearn for sameness at the same time.
The beautiful thing is the Bible promises us both things: the new and the never-changing.
The same joyful expectation we feel at the beginning of a new year, full of hope and the desire for newness is met with the promises of God:
The promise that if we are in Christ, we have already been made into a new creation, yet at the same time are being renewed each day.2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 3:9-10)
The promise that we receive new mercies every single morning, that God’s mercy on us is fresh each day and never runs dry.Lamentations 3:22-23)
The promise that one day we will experience God’s new creation, that God will one day make all things new and right, that one day God will create again the world as it should be.Revelation 21:1-5
The same feeling of anticipation and expectation of newness we experience at New Year’s is not meant to be experienced at the turn of the year only. Each day, in every season, we can joyfully expect and hope in the newness that God promises us in our present realities and in the reality yet to come. But our hope is much stronger than just wanting something to happen yet having no certainty that it will; it’s much more certain than just hoping we can stick to our New Year’s resolutions. Our hope in Christ is not wishful thinking; it’s a confident expectation in the promises of God. In fact, we can confidently expect the newness God promises precisely because God is never-changing.
We have a God who remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). He remains the same God who always comes through on His promises, the same God who never lies, the same God who is strong and mighty, the same God who loved us enough to send His own Son Jesus to die on our behalf. Because this God never changes, we eagerly and confidently anticipate Him to fulfill His promises, knowing He will.
This year, let us rejoice and anticipate that in Christ, He is constantly renewing us and transforming us into His image – that there is hope for change. May we cling to the hope that one day all things will be made completely new and completely right. At the same time, as we yearn for sameness and familiarity, let us rejoice in the fact that our God is constant and remains the same always. As we walk into the unknown, may we have confidence in the promises of God because He is the One Thing that never changes.