For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. (Luke 11:30)

THE NEW YEAR IS A GREAT time for change—a turnaround in direction—a resurrection of hope. You don’t have to keep repeating the same destructive patterns in your life.

It is hard to imagine things can be different, because life has a way of knocking us down and taking the steam out of us. But God is bigger than our circumstances.

Consider Jonah, who wandered in the wrong direction and landed in an unpleasant place—a smelly whale belly. When he found the sweet spot spiritually, God launched him in the right direction and used him to transform an entire city. Consider Jesus, buried in a tomb three days, then bursting forth with resurrection power to change human history.

Perhaps this year did not turn out well. Maybe you have suffered heartache, difficulty, and loss, with hopes and dreams buried in a pile of regrets.

Rather than protesting your situation and wishing it were different, consider this may not be the burial of hope, but a planting of it. When hope is planted in God’s grace, it will sprout and produce a full harvest.

Be patient. Adjust your attitude. Straighten things out with God and look for signs of new life. Christ rectifies what humans wreck.

If you need some hope, turn around and look again. Jesus is here and wants to resurrect somebody.

Bring your disappointments to Jesus. He will bring new life.

Mark O. Wilson is senior pastor of Hayward Wesleyan Church in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, and author of Filled Up, Poured Out and Purple Fish (WPH).