One thing I'm always reminded of as we celebrate the new year is Christ's promise to make all things new. Revelation 21:4-7 says:
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
We know that this world is not the way it is supposed to be. Just reflect over the pain and suffering over the last year whether in your own life or in the life of our nation. We look forward not only to a new year, but a new world where the "old order of things has passed away." This new order doesn't come instantaneously but through process. Jesus says "I am making all things new". The earth was cleansed in the flood and made anew, this took time and was part of a process. The pattern in Scripture is of rebirth, not of instantaneous action. Jesus himself is resurrected and exists in a new way, yet he retains his body and even eats with his disciples. So also with us, we are made new through process, sometimes through cleansing waters, sometimes through cleansing fire. We don't, like many in our culture, try to completely forget the past year and our worries through excessive party making, but rather use our past as part of the process in being made new. We have the strength by the power of the Holy Spirit to be conquerors not forgetters and look forward to the day we are glorified when God in perfect fellowship with us says "I will be their God and they will be my children."