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)
Today and Friday we will close out yet another year of seeking “Grace for the Race.” Today I want to encourage you to take a look back over the past year . . . to remember and reflect on the many and multiplied wonders that God has done in your life. On Friday we will look forward to the starting line of another year, and, if God is so pleased to grant it to us, to live 2022 out with both the freedom and faithfulness that is available to us in Jesus Christ.
Someone wisely observed that “It is difficult to climb to the summit of the mountain when you are always looking over your shoulder.” That’s certainly true, but taking a look back is wonderfully beneficial for the Christian believer to remember all that God has done: His care, His provision, His protection, and His many gracious answers to our prayers. To be sure, that look back must be brief if we are to begin making forward progress throughout 2022. But make no mistake, it is the best way to close out another year of blessings that our loving Lord has bestowed on us.
It’s important to point out that taking a look back 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 will live it out imperfectly. I’ve said here several times that we must always treat the past as a school; we are to learn the lessons from our past but not live in our past. I meet far too many people — believers and unbelievers alike — who live in the past, which inevitably 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 looking back bring to mind God’s . . .
- Faithfulness and Friendship
- Discipline and Devotion
- Mercy and Ministry
- Love and Leading
I pray that your look back over 2021 will encourage you and strengthen you to embark on another year with Jesus sitting upon the throne of your life, guiding you through every twist and turn, and growing you through all the ups and downs . . . every step of the way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!