I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)
Today we close out yet another year of discovering and celebrating all the grace that God gives us for our race. Today I want to encourage you to pause and look back over 2019 to remember and reflect on the multiplied “wonderful deeds” God has done in your life. On Wednesday we will look ahead as we start yet another year, and, if God is pleased to give us this year, let us live it for His glory and the good of all others.
Someone wisely said, “It is difficult to climb to the summit of the mountain when you are always looking over your shoulder.” In many respects that is true, but I maintain that looking back is beneficial for Christian believers, so that we will be reminded of all that God has done. To be sure, it must be a brief look if we are to make forward progress throughout 2020, but make no mistake; to forgo that look would be to ignore another year of blessings that God has graciously bestowed upon us.
A look back is not the same as walking back. We cannot go back, nor should we want to. God is moving us forward into His perfect plan and purpose for our lives, even though we live it out imperfectly. We should always treat the past as a school; we are to learn the lessons from our past but not live in our past. Far too many people, Christians and unbelievers alike, live in the past, and that prohibits any measurable forward progress. But this is not for you!
Take some time today to reflect on the past year and make sure your look back encompasses both your successes and your storms. There is much to glean from both life experiences, because God has delivered both to us in order to conform us into the image and likeness of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Let your look back bring to mind God’s . . .
- Faithfulness and Friendship
- Discipline and Devotion
- Mercy and Ministry
- Love and Leading
Your brief look back should encourage you and strengthen you to set out on another year of life with Jesus sitting upon its throne, guiding you through every twist and turn, growing you through every up and down, walking with you every step of the way.
Let your look back fill your heart with wonder and love, and let it strengthen you to share that love with everyone you meet.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!