Look back on 2020 before you look ahead to 2021

The new year is fast upon us and with the change of the calendar you may be dedicating yourself to something fresh. You have goals for 2021: things you’d like to start and things you’d like to stop, places you want to go, improvements you want to make in yourself or your situation. Or maybe you’d be glad just to make it through another year intact! This is all well and good; may the Lord fulfill all your desires that are in accordance with his will.

But before looking ahead to 2021, look back on 2020. Specifically, remember the Lord’s faithfulness to all who have put their hope in him.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5)   

How many times in 2020 did you respond in unbelief, sinful anger or worry to events this year? The Lord forgives all your iniquity. Did you get sick this year and recover? He heals all your diseases. If you had known last December 31st that in 2020 there would be a worldwide pandemic that would kill millions and shut down countries, would you not have been concerned about your own survival? And yet here we are, because the Lord redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. Yes, in 2020 we were isolated, life was disrupted, events were cancelled, and so much more. Yet babies and grandbabies were born, couples were joined in marriage, jobs were kept, food was put on the table, and there were beautiful sunsets because the Lord satisfies you with good.

Our temptation going into 2021 will either be to forget 2020 altogether or to only remember the bad stuff. Instead, let us forget not all his benefits. The Lord was faithful to us in 2020. Knowing that gives us encouragement that he will continue to be faithful in 2021. It is natural to dwell on the bad; it is a choice to remember the good. We can be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10), because the Lord is with us and for us through Jesus Christ, now and always.

Looking forward to walking through 2021 with the Lord and with you,

Pastor Mark

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