By C.H. Spurgeon, January 1884, in Sword & Trowel, 7.333-5

Like the man on the look-out of a steamer which is passing through a thick fog, we cannot see far ahead, and yet we anxiously peer into the mist. The New Year is upon us, and we would fain look into it if we could; but even the short length of 1884 [and also 2005! —ed.] is further than our eyes can carry us. What then? Would we lift the veil? No, it is woven in mercy, and placed before us in love. Had it been good for us to be all prophets, the residue of the Spirit would have sufficed to have made us so; and therefore it can only be a wise denial which refuses to remove the curtain. It will be our wisdom to exercise all our strength in the line of faith, since in the direction of sight we can do so little. Another morsel is broken by the great Father’s hand from the loaf of time; let us eat it, asking no questions, but with all our hearts asking a blessing upon it, and giving thanks. Should not our New Year’s morning-meal be a true Eucharist? Care must not sit like a Judas at the table on this first morn; but oh, that the Master may be there to sweeten every morsel of the loaves and fishes which are to be the basis of the year’s banquet! May he at this moment pronounce his blessing on all the twelve monthly loaves which make up the year, so that each one when it is broken may bless our life. May he also bless each of the three hundred and sixty-five fishes which are entangled in the great annual net, not forgetting the one more which, on this occasion, has leaped within the enclosure. Our Lord’s love has already prepared a fire, to which he bids us bring of the fish which we have now caught; let us see to it that no one of them is wasted for want of the coals whereon to lay it to make it fit for use.

If this New Year shall be full of unbelief, it will be sure to be dark and dreary. If it be baptized into faith, it will be saturated with benediction. If we will believe our God as he deserves to be believed, our way will run along the still waters, and our rest will be in green pastures. Trusting in the Lord, we shall be prepared for trials, and shall even welcome them as black ships laden with bright treasures. Relying upon the faithful promise, we shall be on the watch for the expected blessing, and walk the sea-beach of confidence, casting wistful glances over the waters of time for the swift ships which bring the favors of the Eternal. Calm dependence upon our God will make us strong for labor, and willing for waiting, submissive to suffering, and superior to circumstances.

"The heart that trusts for ever sings,

And feels as light as it had wings;

A well of peace within it springs.

Come good or ill,

Whate’er to-day or morrow brings,

It is His will."

We have been looking at some wonderful sunsets lately, and we have all been admiring the marvelous effects of sunlight; let us try what the light of God can do for each one of us. Let us walk in the light by a true, unwavering faith. Our gracious Father deserves from us such boundless trust as dear children, untainted by the world’s falsehood, placed in a tender, loving father. We have never yet trusted him to the utmost, to the nth, as a mathematician would say; up to the hilt, as a soldier might put it. Let God be true, and every man a liar; yea, let every circumstance, reasoning, or testimony of the senses be a falsehood in comparison with him. We may be deceived by eyes and ears, by calculation and argument, but never by the Lord. Let us, then, believe without effort, as the necessary mood of a regenerate heart — believe now, believe ever, believe without question; then will our pathway be brightness itself, and our life will rise above the common weary level. Our happiness or misery for 1884 [and also 2005—ed.] turns upon the question — Believest thou this? — this present, needful truth, for the hour which is now upon thee? Shall we be as waves driven of the sea, and tossed about, or will we be as rocks defying the storm, and bathing their summits in the eternal sunlight of infinite love? If the last be our choice, let us pray for grace to spend New Year’s Day in the heavenly rest of faith, and may that rest never be broken throughout the year. Why not? Is there any necessity which binds us to be unbelieving, and therefore unhappy? Did not Enoch walk with God for centuries? Shall not we achieve this lofty deed for one single year? We think we hear our divine Lord saying, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." May the Holy Ghost lift us out of our poor feeble selves. Oh, to believe from January to December! Why should we doubt without reason? And if we never doubt our God until he gives us cause, the high, triumphant walk of faith may continue till all years have melted into Eternity!

Readers, let us take as our example of faith this year the man of whom it is written—"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, He was able also to perform." W