Happy New Year! Twenty-twenty is officially in the review mirror. The calendar has restarted. The page has been turned. Twenty-twenty-one has begun!
However, before we can archive 2020 and leave it to history, we must take some time to reflect and ponder what we have learned. For some of us, 2020 has been a year of building, growth, new horizons, wonderful opportunities, and great blessing. We have seen God work in powerful ways as He opened door after door and broadened our borders.
But for many, 2020 has been a year of loss. Loss of livelihood, loss of health, loss of family, loss of connection, loss of stability, and loss of vision. For many, life has felt torn apart and dragged through the mud. Nothing went according to plan and everything seemed to fall apart this year.
Whatever your story this year, please take a minute to reflect on what has transpired—good, bad, painful, or beautiful—and ponder what ways God has grown you. At the beginning of the year, 2020 was elevated as being the year of vision, and while this year didn’t go according to anyone’s plans, I think we can all agree that we have indeed gained vision. Restored vision on what is truly important in life. Clearer understanding of how temporary and fragile life is. Dawning realization at how connected our world has become. And a profound recognition that people are important and that we were created for community.
Whether you’ve had the best or worst year of your life, I hope you are able to look back on 2020 and see growth in your walk with God. While New Year resolutions are good, at the end of the year even if we didn’t meet our goals or accomplish what we wanted, it’s all okay as long as we’ve grown in the Lord. God cares about your career and wants you to flourish in life; however, He is most concerned about your spiritual growth and health. Therefore, He allows trials into our lives to test our faith and bring about the spiritual growth and maturity only hard times can bring.
So as you look back on 2020, in what ways have you grown spiritually? What has God taught you through this unprecedented year? What greater spiritual vision have you gained? Have you grown closer to God during this difficult year or walked away from Him in anger and frustration?
Before we can walk forward with confidence into the future, we must reconcile and settle the past. If you’re feeling angry or distant from God due to events in 2020, flipping the calendar forward to 2021 is not going to change your situation. So before your leave 2020 in the review mirror, take some time to ponder, reflect, and prayerfully ask God to shed light on what you can learn from the past year.
I entered 2020 with the prayer for increased faith. I wanted God to expand my capacity to trust and believe Him for things big and small. I wanted to strengthen my ability to confidently walk forward into new opportunities and situations with confidence in God’s will and purposes. This year I have seen that prayer answered in ways I never thought possible. You never know what a year will hold, but if you believe and trust the One who holds the year, then you can have confidence and hope.
Therefore, as we enter this new year, I pray that you will learn from 2020 and then be able to step forward into 2021 with renewed faith, hope, vision, and confidence in the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. May God bless you this year, showing you more of who He is, and continuing to transform you daily in the likeness of His Son. Keep fixing your eyes on Him!
“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
~Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV)
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