Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced. (Psalm 105:4-5)
On Monday we’ll close out yet another year of Grace for Your Race. Today I want to encourage you to take a backward glance over the past year and remember and reflect on the many and multiplied wonders God has done in your life. On Monday we’ll look forward to the starting line of another year . . . and crossing the finish line of the year that lies ahead running well, if God is pleased to grant us that.
Someone has said, “It is difficult to climb to the summit of the mountain when you are always looking over your shoulder.” That’s true, but a backward glance is beneficial for the Christian believer to be reminded of all God has done. To be sure, it must be a brief glance if we are going to make forward progress throughout 2019; but make no mistake, it is the best way to close out another year of blessings that God has bestowed upon us.
It’s important to note that a backward glance is not the same thing as walking backward. We cannot go back, nor should we want to! God is moving us forward into His perfect plan and purpose for our lives. Inasmuch as we live His call on our lives out imperfectly, we must remember to always treat the past as a school. We are to learn the lessons from our past, but not live in it. I’m afraid that far too many Christians believe that their past limits their future, and that belief prohibits any measurable forward progress.
But this is not for you! Take some time this weekend to reflect on 2018, and make sure that backward glance includes both your successes and your storms. There is much to glean from both life experiences; God has delivered them to us in order to conform us to the image and likeness of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Let your “backward glance” bring to mind God’s . . .
- Faithfulness and Friendship
- Discipline and Devotion
- Mercy and Ministry
- Love and Leading
Your brief backward glance will encourage you and strengthen you to set out on another year of life with Jesus seated upon the throne of your life—guiding you through every twist and turn, and growing you through every up and down, every step of the way.
And as you look back, remember the greatest blessing of all: He who cried out “It is finished” from the cross was telling you that your sin debt is done; it is finished; it is paid in full by His sacrificial atonement. If you have, by grace through faith, placed your trust in Him, all the sins of your past are as far from you as the east is from the west.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!