“Another Year of Grace…!”
By: Lou Yeboah
Thank You Lord! As we stand on the brink of a New Year it is a good time to reflect on the year that is ending and look forward into the year that is soon to begin. A New Year filled with new possibilities and opportunities. Twelve new months, 52 new weeks, 365 new days, 8,760 new hours, 525,000 new minutes and 31,536,000 new seconds… every one of which is God’s gift to us. So as David encourages us in [Psalm 145] yes, we should take the time to look back on our lives and reflect on the goodness of God. We are encouraged to praise God for his greatness, his compassion, and his faithfulness; and to thank God for his many gifts throughout our lives. Because as Curtis Mayfield sang, [Diamond in the Back] “Though you may not drive a great big Cadillac, diamond in the back, sunroof top, diggin’ the scene, with a gangsta lean, gangsta whitewalls, TV antennas in the back… you may not have a car at all, but remember brothers and sisters, you can still stand tall, just be thankful for what you got.” Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Look back on this past year, and trace the hand of God who provided you with everything you needed. Think about God’s powerful acts. Remember, meditate and consider all that God has done [Psalm 77:11-12]. Remember your redemption, and let your lips ring with words of Praise and Thanksgiving.
It is also a good time for you to take inventory of your walk with the Lord. You should take a very close look at where you are in your relationship with Him. You need to examine yourself and see where you have been, where you are and where the Lord wants you to be. The benefit of keeping God in mind is that it keeps our hearts grateful, appropriately humble, and delighted in our God for His goodness to us. Take some time to write out what God has done for you. Let it be an exercise in remembering His goodness and grace in your life! Because taking time to remember what God has done over a whole year is sweet for our souls.
As I reflect back, I think about a man who was separated from friends, unjustly accused, and brutally treated—the man was the Apostle Paul—a man who had learned the meaning of true thanksgiving, even in the midst of great adversity. Earlier, when he had been imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” [Ephesians 5:19-20].
I tell you, there’s so much to be thankful for: Spiritual things — if you didn’t have anything else but Jesus, you would have enough to praise God for all eternity. Simple things — you should be thankful for your families, health, food, and even a glass of water. Thank God for the simple things. Sorrowful things — you can even be thankful for the heartaches, the pains, and the sufferings, because as [Romans 8:28] says, “…All things work together for good…”
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good [1 Chronicles 16:34], and His love is eternal, and His faithfulness endures to all generation.” [Psalms 100:4-5].
Lord, we praise you for your goodness and faithfulness in this past year. Help us to count our blessings and to be assured of your love. In Jesus, Amen.