In Jewish tradition, the start of the new year is traditionally celebrated in September or October during Rosh Hashanah (literally, “head of the year.”) Rosh Hashanah also marks the beginning of “The Days of Awe,” a 10-day period of “repentance and introspection.” The final day is Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. In Judaism, these are two of the most important holidays of the year.
Though we might celebrate the new year during a different month than in the Bible–and though most of us may not partake in Jewish traditions during this time–the new year can still serve as a significant time for followers of Christ.
That’s because the Bible is full of verses that encourage us to look ahead to the future with hope. Throughout Scripture, we are continually reminded to put our hope in God, let go of the past, and live with anticipation for the coming of Jesus.
Here are 20 Bible verses that can encourage you in the new year. Try reading through these carefully, asking the Lord for guidance, and praying through individual scripture passages to encourage you for the next 12 months.
Bible Verses About Letting Go of the Past & Looking to the Future
The Bible often encourages us to let go of what isn’t helpful and press on ahead to the future.
- Isaiah 43:18-19
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
- Philippians 3:13-14
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
- Proverbs 4:25-27
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
- Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
- Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Bible Verses About Hope for the Future
The Bible always, always encourages us to hope for the future.
- Isaiah 65:17-19
See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.
- Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
- Romans 5:3-5
And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
- 1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
- Ephesians 1:18-19
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Bible Verses About Strengthening Yourself for the Future
The Bible does not encourage a passive faith, but a faith that actively presses into the truth of Scripture and the strength of God.
- Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- 2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
- Hebrews 12:12-13
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,”so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
- Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Bible Verses About What to Expect for the Future
Finally, the Bible tells us what to expect for the future as believers in Christ.
- Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- James 1:12
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
- Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Getting Your New Year Off to a Good Start
The best way to start the new year is with Jesus. Take some time to reflect on the past year, ask God for specific Scriptures to believe for the new year, and meditate on His faithfulness and promises. Remember–January 1st can be a fresh start and an exciting new beginning.