As we ring in the New Year, our hearts turn to expectant hope because of the infinite possibilities that lie ahead. There’s something about the word “new” that causes us to consider that this year might be different in limitless good ways. After all, God has given us the ability to discern the times and the seasons (Mark 13:28).
What’s especially significant about this New Year is the purposeful alignment with the number “8.” In the Hebrew calendar, the year 5778 began on September 20, 2017. The number “7” represents completion. As 5777 came to a close, the Lord brought completion to lots of chapters and seasons in so many lives, and urged us to not be afraid to “turn the page” to the new chapter. (We can get very comfortable with where we are, even if it’s not an ideal place—at least we know what we’re dealing with.) After all, He is the one writing our stories, so why would we fear the unknown? With the Hebrew year 5778 in full swing, coupled with the ushering in of 2018, how great is our anticipation when we understand that “8” represents “new beginnings” or a “new era.” Consider that God spoke eight times to create the world and everything in it before He commissioned man to rule over His creation. He chose the eighth day to mark the beginning of the new week. He saved eight people in the ark to usher in a fresh start for mankind. God commanded Moses to circumcise newborn male children on the eighth day after their birth (Leviticus 12:3), a sign of His covenant with them. Jesus was circumcised at eight days old. Eight is the personal number of Jesus. Eight signifies resurrection and regeneration. And, Pentecost took place on the eighth day of the seventh week.
According to God’s intention for this year of “eight,” we delight in declaring that 2018 is a year full of the earthly manifestation of the Lord’s many promises to us. We thank Him that He is always in the process of making everything new, including us (Revelation 21:5). During the recent past, He has been perfecting and refining our individual and corporate relationship with Him, bringing us into a greater one-ness with Him so that we can be trusted to carry the fullness of His Holy Presence. We have sought the power of His Holy Spirit to create in us clean hands and a pure heart. We have delighted to linger in the light of His perfect love. We have been brought into agreement with Him regarding our deepest hearts’ desires (Psalm 37:4). In 2018, the Lord will take great delight in bringing those heart desires into reality in the earth, so that we might see a new and greater degree of manifestation of His Kingdom for our good and His eternal glory!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen! (Ephesians 3:20-21)