We all think of a new year as a blank slate. Nothing has happened yet, so anything is possible. It seems like a time for anyone to do the impossible, a time for all good things to come to those who have waited a year (or longer) for them.
In short, a new year gives us new hope. We believe things will get better. We think we will get better (it's why we make resolutions, after all). People can change in a year. Situations can change in a year. Finances, public opinion, problems at work, problems at home, anything and everything can change in a year. The world can change in a year. And so we hold out hope that it will, that 2017 will finally be our year.
1 Corinthians 13 is often read at weddings for its message on love, but it finishes with a brief mention of hope: "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love" (v. 13). Love may be stronger than hope, but hope is still one of the greatest three forces in the world. As Christians, we have more hope than most. Colossians 1:23 tells us to "not move from the hope held out in the gospel." What hope? "Christ in you, the hope of glory," Paul says a few verses later (v. 27). We hope for heaven, to see our Master's face, to live eternally with the one who bought us with his blood.
That hope is always available to the one who believes. No matter how 2017 may turn out, let us always cling to the hope held out in the gospel, the hope of glory: Christ in us.