Our family currently lives in the center of a major European city and we often find ourselves thinking, if happiness is measured by the looks on people’s faces, there apparently isn’t very much to go around. Of course, this could be any city, town, or village in any part of the world. Happiness isn’t the norm, nor has it ever been. This fact doesn’t keep our world from imagining that happiness is something that’s owed to them. But they can’t find it. No one can manufacture it, scheme or plot to achieve it, or buy it. That has all been tried.

Why? Because God has so arranged things that this much-envied quality of life—the kind of joy that reaches the inner core of a person—is available only as a gift from his hands. He gives it to whomever he chooses, and he loves to grant all his gifts in abundance to those who come to him in trust and ask. These gifts are the byproducts of his kingdom, rooted in his character and the perfect joy he, his Son, and his Spirit share together in loving harmony. How blessed are we!

As we begin this year, let us remember that we have no reason, or need, to be embarrassed about our faith, or to remain silent or shy about the Gospel. We are the “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1), we have the medicine that heals, the light that illuminates, and the antidote to the spiritual and psychological darkness that seems to be sweeping over the world. We have every reason to shout that this can be a joyous, happy new year.

So let us join together as the family of faith and direct people to a place where they find hope and a unique kind of happiness—at the foot of the Cross.

A very blessed and Happy New Year from our family to yours.