These are the words of thousands, even millions, of us who look at the New Year and worry if we’re up to the changes that we say we want to make.

Fear of change, uncertainty about opportunities, and worry about the future steal more from us than thieves ever will. There’s just something about our human nature that makes us afraid. We don’t want to lose what we have, so we pull back from anything that might threaten it — even “things” that might be a whole lot better. We fear the consequences of our possible changes. So most of our new year changes are short-lived and mere window dressing.

As Christians, however, we have the power to change without fear. We can reach out and embrace new opportunities with expectation. We can welcome the future with excitement.

You see, God has promised his power to help us change. That power is the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:14-21). This Holy Spirit power raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:17-19). This Holy Spirit power enables us to not only change but also to be transformed to become more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

While we change, God’s grace assures us that we will not lose the important things in our lives we have gained. As our hearts seek after Jesus as Lord, we can welcome changes and seize opportunities knowing that nothing can separate us from his love for us (Romans 8:31-39). God’s love, Jesus’ presence, and the power of the Holy Spirit will not abandon or fail us (Hebrews 13:5-8).

While some may fear the dawn of the New Year because of the changes it MIGHT bring, we can welcome the dawn of this New Year with anticipation. In this New Year, our Lord Jesus will be at work in us. His will for us and his work in us WILL happen. The real question is this: Are we going to let fear rob Jesus of his goal in us, or will we seize the opportunities and seek the changes that bring him glory?

Let’s welcome the dawn of our New Year with anticipation and courage. Let’s remember the apostle John’s promise, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… (1 John 4:18 NASB). Let’s embrace the reassuring words of Jesus to his storm-tossed disciples, “Don’t be afraid. I AM here!” (John 6:20). By the power of the Holy Spirit and with the promise that Jesus is going with us, let’s enter this New Year with faith, confidence, and anticipation.