Alright folks, 2016 is coming to a close and you need to make sure that you are ending this year in the most powerful way possible.
We’ve all experienced 2016 differently. For some of you, this year was full of surprises. Joy, breakthrough and the miraculous taking place. While for others you made it to the end by the skin of your teeth. You faced many disappointments from others and even yourself. It felt like life only dealt tough hands and rough punches. And for the rest, this year was a mixture of both.
As we transition into the new year, there’s one place we must all meet. One way by which we can bring our year to a strong close despite the good, bad and ugly.
This is the way of solitude and godly reflection.
Take 3 days away from the noise of friends, holidays, people and social media. Take time to reflect with God on your year.
Then reflect on these questions:
What was the biggest thing I saw God do?
You need to be able to see where the hand of God moved in your year. You may have many answers to this question, and that’s fine. Boast on God. Thank Him. Be grateful.
What am I most grateful for (if different)?
What specific things do you want to take time to thank Him for this year? If you cannot think of anything at all, remember, He has given you a gift beyond anything else you may be asking Him for. The gift of Himself. His son, Jesus Christ who loved you enough to die on the cross for you. The gift of love. Undeserved, abounding love and mercy. Remember He did not have to preserve your life to see today.
Remember His goodness, they are more than I can write in a blog. Tell yourself to find the good in our God. It’s overwhelming when you choose to do it.
What was the hardest part of this year?
Be real. Cry if you must. Bring your pain to Him and allow Him to heal and speak over it. Admit how it broke you.As you reflect on 2016, be real with God about any pain. He isn't afraid of it and will not allow it to overwhelm youClick To Tweet
In this time, note that you must be willing to allow Him to bring healing and comfort to your pains and disappointment. This is not the time to fall into a self-pity, woe is me pit. Be sensitive to His spirit. Cry it out, but allow His healing to bring you to life and do not give in to a worldly sorrow which leads to death and depression. Remember His goodness even in remembering the hardships.
What did I learn from it?
Every single difficulty has a lesson if you are willing to hear it. If you are willing to look at it through His eyes and learn. So ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you what lessons He wanted to teach you out of your toughest season this year. Thank Him for His love and correction.
Where or when did I have the most fun this year?
What adventures did you take? Any trips? Any sweet moments of laughter with family? Friends? Catch up on some TV shows? Fell in love with a new song?
No matter how hard your year may have been, there were moments of laughter. Smile, remember, and write them down.
How has God used my church family as well as other blogs, FB live videos, Youtube Videos etc. to encourage me this year?
Be grateful for those who have poured into you this year. Reflect on the biggest lessons you learned from your mentors and leaders. Take time to send them a thank you message. You wouldn’t be who you are today without the input of certain leaders (close and distant) who have poured into you.
What -if anything- do I feel He is saying for 2017?
Take some time to ask Him what He wants to do in 2017. Ask Him for words of encouragement. Any warnings? Don’t simply wait to hear what your Pastor is going to share from God on January 1st. To do that would be like the people of Israel motioning Moses to go ahead and meet God on the mountain without desiring to meet with Him themselves.
Instead, be like Joshua and go with your leaders into His presence to hear His voice over your life and your family. This does not discount what your Pastor will hear. Use it all. Write it all down and watch what God does in 2017.
What am I asking Him to do in 2017?
If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. If you don’t ask, you won’t even know what you really want. Write down a few things you would like to see God help you do in 2017. You can ask for a specific friend or family member who does not yet know Christ to receive His love and truth. It could be related to your spiritual growth, finances, academics, workplace, relationships. Nothing is off limits for Abba.
What am I going to change in 2017?
This is more than a new year’s resolution. Ask yourself, what attitudes have held you back this year? Resolve and pray for grace to leave them behind in this year. What do you want to begin to do in 2017 which would bring you closer to His purpose and dream for your life? What structures of accountability are you setting up to make sure you follow through?
For my personal responses to these questions, check my Fireside Chat Facebook Live youtube playlist.
As we transition into 2017, make sure you are ending this year in a powerful way. Take time away from everyone to reflect on the year.
Glean all you can from your highlights and mistakes.
Listen to Jesus’ heart for your city, nation and family.
Drop the baggage of the previous year and go in with faith. Believing that He will do more in 2017 than you have ever yet seen.
God will respond to your faith. He will meet you there.
How do you transition into the new year? Where do you go on New Year’s Eve? What do you make sure to do at the end of each year?