For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . .
As this year ends, it’s important that we take time to reflect on what God has done and to make space to allow him to prepare us for what is ahead. It is my prayer for you, for me, for our Church, that as the New Year is about to begin that we all would find the moments to seek God’s perspective on what 2022 holds for us. May we ground our hopes and pursuits on God’s grace and celebrate all that God has done and is doing.
The start of a New Year, affords us an opportunity to slow down, stop, and reflect. This important spiritual practice allowing for times of reflection creates space for God’s Spirit to speak, helping us remember what God has done, making us aware of what God is doing in the moment, and inspiring our hearts for what God wants to do next.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 illustrates this principle in saying,
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
The best place to begin reflection is in remembering. I don’t know whether this year was one filled with heartache or laughter for you. I don’t know whether you experienced loss or new beginnings. I don’t know whether you cried tears of joy or sadness. But God does. In moments of silence and remembrance God wants to comfort you, rejoice with you, and enfold you in his arms. I have found that in times of remembrance the work of God has been to bring about healing, grace, love, and perspective. Take time today to remember.
God desires to fill you with hope and expectancy in the present, and for his future plans. A New Year is filled with its possibilities and new beginnings. God wants to lay a foundation for your year with a fresh revelation of his love, faithfulness, and presence. Take time today to allow him to prepare you for all next year holds.
1. Reflect on this past year. What were the high points? What were your places of disappointments? How did God meet you in both? Allow him to comfort you today.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
2. Ask God to plant hopes and dreams for 2022 in your heart.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10