I don’t know about you, but I sure am hopeful that 2021 is a very different year from 2020. While 2020 caused me to grow a tremendous amount from a personal perspective, the year also wore me down. Consequently, I yearn for 2021 to bring in a strong sense of renewal.

But while we often look to the calendar and the changing of the year as a time to start the renewal process, God grants us this opportunity at any time. God professes that attempting to traverse life in our own strength leaves us depleted and looking for answers—but He promises us something different.

I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. —Jeremiah 31:25

It is not a matter of age or circumstances. It is not a matter of what we have done right versus what we have done wrong. God asks us all to come to Him, and in exchange He will renew us and provide us strength that is sustainable. 

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. —Isaiah 40:30–31

The first step in the process is that we must turn to God. We have to turn away from trying to act in our own strength and instead seek forgiveness. In doing so, thanks to Jesus’ death on the cross, our sins are erased.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. —Acts 3:19

As a result of this refreshing, God promises that we can be made new. While our bodies may remain the same, our souls are made into a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! —2 Corinthians 5:17

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. —Ephesians 4:22–24

Finally, God lets us know that, in this renewal, we can lean into Him and find replenishment.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. —Matthew 11:29

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. —Matthew 11:29

So as we enter 2021, we need not seek renewal on our own. God has promised us renewal and a chance to make all things new. I know that I plan to make 2021 very different from 2020 no matter what circumstances the world might bring my way. Will you take God’s offer and do the same?