How Was Your Year?

Simon LawtonInspiration2 Comments

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It’s the time of year when the media and newspapers review the year and look back across the world of politics, sports, royalty, celebrity, science, film, medicine etc. My own country has seen its own share of change, upheaval, tragedies, successes and failures.

I’m sure it has been the same for all of us – a year containing great moments of jubilation mixed with points of despair. An old friend of mine recently tweeted a pic of his new grandson with the comment that only eight days previously, he had in fact, lost his father. Our lives seem to be a mix of great achievements, successes and pleasure along with sadness, heartache & loss. As a pastor it’s often my privilege to be closely involved in many of these times.

Looking Back
I wonder, as the door of 2015 edges closer to closing completely (we will never pass this way again), what your review of 2015 would say? What would your highlights and lowlights be?

I guess for some – you’ll be content to see the back of this year! Maybe it has been your ‘annus horribilis?’ My heart goes out to you. Thank God that He promises to be with us through the storm and is especially present and real during periods of loss, heartache and pain.

I’m sure that there are others for whom the past year has been a year of great success…..exam results, new job, promotion, new relationships, personal goals achieved….perhaps you’ve lost weight, reduced debts, learnt a new skill, taken up a new hobby/sport. Congratulations!

I would imagine for others it has, and continues to be, a period of adapting to new circumstances…some difficult & trying, others exciting, for others – loss of loved ones, health issues, lost jobs, new jobs, retirement, schools, uni/college etc.

Looking Back & Being Thankful
As you pause and reflect over the past year – it is always a good thing to thank God for what has gone before. The Word of God encourages us to be thankful to God at all in times and to learn to be content in all circumstances:

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’
(Philippians 4:4-13)

Take Five As You Look Back
Why don’t you pause for a moment and, with God’s help, thank Him for the past year – Yes – with all it’s ups and downs & the good, the bad and the ugly!

  • Celebrate the successes by giving Him the praise and the glory – remembering that very victory and success is because of Him.
  • Close the door on the past year. Let go of all the disappointments, losses, frustrations & difficulties – make a choice not to allow anything that is behind you to trip you up in the future.

Give it all to Him. Thank Him that, even though it may have been a tough year, – you have breath in your lungs! There are many people who sadly didn’t make it through the year who would love to be alive today. Ask Him to help you to learn to be content in every situation and circumstance you face knowing that He promises to give you the power and strength to do that.

Paul’s words may be familiar but they remain the reality. God promises to strengthen and equip us no matter what we are facing:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Maybe The Future Is Uncertain
Remember this – ‘Immanuel’ – God is with us!

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

People, friends, relatives and even pastors sometimes will let you down – but He is the one who has proved Himself faithful! He will always be there and promises to be with you.

Make A Choice To Involve Him More In Your Life
Maybe as you’ve been looking back you’ve discovered that God has not been involved in your life as much as you thought. The fact is this – God wants to be more involved in every aspect of your daily life. Don’t let Him be a one day a week kind of God! One of my favourite songs over the last few years has been this great song by Tim Hughes. Why not make it your prayer:

Everything
God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, there in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
You are everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
Be my everything

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

Songwriters: CZAJKOSKA, CLAIRE FRANCOIS / HUGHES, KEVIN
Everything lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

And Finally
As this year draws to a close and as you look back and also look forward – I pray this over every single person, wherever you happen to be in the world:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

2 Comments on “How Was Your Year?”

  1. Thank You for “How Was Your Year” (Looking Back)
    Also for a year of powerful thoughts.

    Now 3:30 so back to sleep.
    Love from Dad (pp Mum.)

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