“…the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout…” [Ezra 3:13]

A new year – a time of letting go of the old.  Like the people of God in Ezra’s time there is always weeping along with the joy of new beginnings, new seasons and realizing the mercy of God’s grace to  – begin again.  It is out of loss, sorrow, closing of ‘old things’ that joy is birthed.  “Tears may linger at night fall, but joy comes in the morning” [Psalm 30:5].  You cannot know one without the other.

During this season we, at least momentarily, ‘let go’ and ‘make a new year’s resolution’.   Resolutions are made with the hope that, this time will be different, you will succeed, but to end this year with the same sense of excitement in reaching the goal requires us to do as it is written in Ezra’s time.  First things first – they rebuilt the altar.

Finding that place as Paul said, ‘hidden in Christ’. “For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” [Colossians 3:3].   Like a new bulb in a new lamp stand it will give you and the world you live in the Light of the glory of God for all to see.  “You are the light of the world A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”   Keep in mind the bulb is not seen although of great influence.

Until we come to the point of doing things God’s way, our lives will be like engines with poor gasoline lines; we will stutter and start not really making any changes or headway.  But Jesus said, “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” [John 17:13].  Rebuild your altar and you will know the thrill of hearing and then fulfilling God’s plan and resolution for a life full of JOY.

Further Reading:   Haggai 1-2; John 17; Colossians 3:1-11;