I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)
Today and Friday we close out yet another year of Grace for Your Race. Today I want to encourage you to look back over the past year to remember and reflect on all the multiplied “wonderful deeds” God has done in your life. On Friday we will look ahead to the start of yet another year. If God is pleased to give us that year, let us live it for His glory and the good of all others.
Someone once wisely said, “It is difficult to climb to the summit of the mountain when you are always looking over your shoulder.” That’s true, but looking back is beneficial for the Christian believer to 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 2023, but it is the best way to close out another year of blessings that God has bestowed upon us.
Now, taking a look back is not the same 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, even though we live that plan out imperfectly. I frequently tell our congregation that we must 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 — both Christians and unbelievers alike — live in the past, which 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 includes both your successes and your storms. There is much to glean from both life experiences, because God has given us both 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 will encourage you and strengthen you to set out on another year of life with Jesus sitting upon the throne of your heart, guiding you through every twist and turn and growing you through every up and down, every step of the way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!