Scripture

Romans 15:4

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

 

Reflection

As we end this first week of the new year, Christmas already seems distant, doesn’t it? How did we get into 2019 so quickly? What happened to last year? Events have come and gone that at one time seemed remote and impossible.

So here’s a question for you: What have you learned from this past year? It is always valid to reflect on the past, both our failures and our victories. God consistently reminded his people of their history. Feasts, celebrations, and special days were important, establishing a clear link with the events of the past and their forebears.

But in the immediacy of the current culture where fast food, fast lanes, and immediate gratification is the expected norm, we don’t tend to revere history or learn lessons from previous generations.  So this weekend, spend a little time reflecting on the past year. Take inventory of your finances, your relationships, your faith, and your purpose. Are you on target, sidetracked, or dead in the water? Where was God in all of these areas? Was God in the forefront leading you all the way, a complete afterthought, or somewhere in-between?

I am convinced that many of our failures are because we didn’t seek God’s way. Or we did, but then ignored it or missed it altogether. So, evaluate the last year, before you really begin the new one. Ask God to reveal anything that may have caused you to stumble or fall. Recognize the ways in which you succeeded. Then move forward with God leading every step. 

Prayer

Dear God, as I stand at the beginning of this new year, I confess my deep need for your presence and guidance as I move into the future. I have hopes, plans, and expectations for the year ahead. But you alone hold the future. It is by your strength and wisdom that I can meet the challenges in the days, weeks, and months to come. So I humbly put my plans and dreams into your hands, and I trust you to go before me and with me into the future. In Jesus’ name, Amen.