A Benediction for the New Year: Hebrews 13

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At the end of Hebrews there are two little verses that have beat a beautiful path in my mind over time—their truths lead me to a breathtaking view of my God and His goodness to me. 

Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Heb. 13:20–21)

As the new year dawns, none of us has any idea what lies ahead. Many of our days will unfold quite differently from how we’ve planned them, and we will be reminded of how little we actually control in this life. But for the child of God, we are given precious promises that not only make sense of life’s interruptions and sorrows, but also fill us with greater joy and purpose than we can begin to imagine.

So, as we look into the unknown before us, here are a few things we can count on according to Hebrews 13:20–21:

  1. God is a God of peace.
    We are not naturally a peaceful people. We are born into turmoil, all manner of anxiety, anger, and self-absorption. But with God, we can experience true shalom—a well-being of both body and soul. Ephesians 2:14 says, “He himself is our peace.”

    God, we pray that we would walk in the joy of your presence, which is perfect peace for our troubled souls!
     
  2. God keeps His promises.
    He made gargantuanly good promises to us and then signed them with the blood of His only Son. Can we truly continue to doubt God’s goodness to us when He paid the highest price to fulfill such undeserved promises?

    We are so grateful, God, that you always keep your promises—and that you paid the highest price to fulfill them.
     
  3. Jesus is our Great Shepherd, whom God raised from the dead.
    This means that Jesus has the authority and power to perfectly protect us, provide for us, and guide us. Isaiah 40:11 says, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”

    Jesus, we ask You to lead us as a new day dawns—and to give us hearts that are happy to follow You.
     
  4. God gives us everything we need.
    He is not cheap, unfair, or full of unrealistic expectations. Have you ever had someone charge you with a task you were absolutely not equipped for? And then perhaps they grew impatient at your incompetence when you asked for more specific help or guidance? God is nothing like that. He beautifully equips us for what He calls us to do, giving us everything we need (and then some!) to do it. He always out-gives us.

    Thank you, God, that no matter what unfolds today, You are with me, providing everything I need to do Your will—whether it’s to wash another sink of dishes or to forgive a difficult person in my life or to suffer in hope.
     
  5. God is pleased with us.
    Because God looks at us through Jesus, our position is secure. Permanent. Indestructible. We may fall flat on our face ten times today, feel like an utter failure, and suffer the deep disappointment of others—but because we are in Christ, God delights in us and our smallest acts of obedience!

    O Lord, our hearts swell with joy to know that You take pleasure in us and our broken efforts for Your kingdom. Today, no matter how we feel or how we fail, we believe that we are Your beloved children.
     
  6. Jesus gets all the glory.
    All of this lavish love and goodness and provision doesn’t result in us getting a big name or a place in history or the praises of the masses. It all crescendos in glory to Jesus and in His name becoming famous, which is what our hearts are truly made for.

    Jesus, we praise You! We say, “You are greater than all others! Your name is like no other name!” We love You and want to live for You because You are so GOOD! We are happiest when You are glorified!

And all God’s people said, “Amen!” As we enter a brand-new year, may this power-packed benediction shape our hearts, our prayers, our praises, and our ambitions. May our journey through Hebrews together this past month culminate in great praise to the Only One who is worthy!

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About the Author

Colleen Chao

Colleen Chao

Colleen Elisabeth Chao is a freelance editor and the author of the children’s book on suffering, Out of the Shadow World. She blogs about God's kindness to her through the unexpected chapters of her story, including singleness, depression, and cancer. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband Eddie and their son.

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