Less than a week into January, it hit; an avalanche of circumstances that sent me catapulting like a skier caught unawares, tumbling, bumping, and careening through the white-out that was last year. No matter that I had taken the whole month of December to get organized for the new year.
You too? If we’re not careful, this year will pass in a smear across every square of our calendar.
A Fresh New Year
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched — this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” John 1:1
Anxious for a new start, I considered the passage: “. . . the beginning . . . “ As I read, my mind stirred with excitement. I clicked my ballpoint pen, opened my notebook to a beautifully blank page and waited for God to speak as I contemplated the passage.
“Go back to the beginning.”
Wait. What Lord? I stared at the verse as I considered the blur of last year.
“Go back and reflect on last year.” God’s message was clear. Unequivocal.
For a moment I thought He must be kidding. Only a moment before it had brimmed with such hope . . .
“Umm . . . back, Lord?” My pen hovered above the waiting page of my notebook. Last year had included a few successes, but it also housed a host of failures . . . out of which I’d already wrung — every — last — “Lesson.” Look back? Oy vey. I just wanted to move forward.
Well, it took something, I’ll admit, to stay and listen, but God never disappoints when we wait for Him in prayer. God never disappoints when we wait for Him in prayer. Click To Tweet What He had to share was deep, sweet, and energizing and I hope it encourages you, too:
Sometimes looking back is the key to moving forward with power and passion.
I’m not talking about wresting some tired application from it like “learning from our mistakes.” No, it’s time to shake some feeling back into our faith. And purposely recounting who God is and what He has done for us is the perfect way to bring fresh life to a new year.
3 Steps to A Powerful New Year
1. Review your life. Consider all the tangible ways God has worked in your life. Think about things He has done that you have seen, that have touched your life and transformed it in some way. What attributes did He reveal about Himself? When we reflect on what God has done for us in the past, it builds our confidence for what He can do in the future. I Chronicles 16:12, Lamentations 3:21-24.
2. Refresh your call. Consider what God has called you to do at this season in your life: As a leader? As a spouse? As a parent? At home? At work? In ministry? Think about any Scriptures God has used to encourage you in this call. When we recall Scriptures that God has used to speak to us, it energizes us to tackle the New Year with refreshed faith. I Peter 2:9, Ephesians 2:10.
3. Recharge your commitment to sharing your faith with others. How can God use what you’re doing to draw others to Himself? What practical things can you do to “proclaim” Him to others? When we remember why we are reaching out to others, it refocuses our priorities and helps us reach our goals. Revelation 22:17, II Corinthians 5:14, 20.
As we consider this new year, let’s “Go back to the beginning . . . “ and remember that God is personal and present our lives. Let’s revisit those times when we experienced His power moving in our lives, then let’s proclaim it! Let’s share it with joy, passion, and power because God makes every labor of love, every struggle, every tear worth it — because He is worth it. Now that’s a new year that’s going to count!
How about you? What tips can you share to help us refresh our faith for a great new year?
God knows the future and all it holds. That is the certainty I hold to. The promise I cling to. Since God gave me the privilege of life, I have come to realize that the best thing for me to do is give Him the glory so that He can shine through me. Maybe someone will see Him because of who he is in me.
I think that is the best I could hope for.
I think that your simple, straightforward focus will take you far and help keep your priorities in order. I, too, am so thankful that God is the One setting our course! Thanks for sharing your insight. 🙂