There is something about entering into a new year. You have 365 unwritten days ahead of you. For some of us it is terrifying and for others it is the most exciting thing ever. 2019 is a blank page just waiting to be written. No matter if 2018 was the best year so far or if it was a difficult year, a new year gives you the opportunity to start afresh. And to start it with God.
I take time and reflect with God Every new year.
I try to reflect on the year that has passed and the new year infront of me. I find it a helpful practice to stop, zoom out and look at what God has been doing in my life by doing one of the following things:
- Write down three words of what 2018 was like.
- Reflect on what God did in your life in 2018.
- Write a list of things you were grateful for in 2018.
- Write down some of your favourite God-moments of 2018 and reflect on what made them good.
I tend to forget to look back at the important moments that made a difference. That is why I love this exercise, it helps me to stop and reflect on what has happened, what I’ve learned and what God has done. It helps me to stop and worship, thanking him for his faithfulness and love, and to reflect on my behavior, asking for forgiveness for the times I’ve missed the mark. You can even do this together in your small group, sharing the highlights of the past year, what you’ve learned, and pray together for the new year.
A word and a weapon for the new year
King David reflects on committing your life to God in Psalm 37: “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” (37:5, ESV). Why not do what David did and commit 2019 to God? Ask Him for a word and a weapon for 2019. A word that can encourage, motivate you or comfort you as you are going through the new year. Likewise a weapon that will help you through the new year, e.g. stillness, prayer or relationships. Then the terrifying unknown future will not seem so scary, because God is with you in it, walking every single day of 2019 with you. On the other hand if you are feeling eager about a new year, a word and a weapon might make you even more excited knowing God's thoughts about your 2019.
So what is God saying about 2019?