With glasses raised and confetti scattered about like snow, we bid farewell to another year. As a fresh decade opens in the annals of history, let’s apply the good news of Christ to the last 365 days to gain some gospel perspective. The more we can commemorate God’s past faithfulness, the more we can anticipate His future work, so really dig in here. (This will be interactive, so feel free to grab a journal to record your thoughts.)
The gospel always begins with creation, that period of time everything is as it should be, created by a good God with good purposes. In the words of Anne Shirley, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Pristine, unmarked, perfect—this is what we were intended to experience on a daily basis.
- Which creation themes (beauty, goodness, meaning, etc.) did you notice this year?
- What hopes did you hold as the year began?
- Where did you see aspects of life work according to God’s design?
Creation is inevitably followed by fall. Ruin, destruction, damage, chaos: all symptoms of our rebellious hearts working themselves out in the world around us. Some days, the darkness feels more real than the light. Sitting for a minute in the gloom can help us gain a more profound appreciation for Christ’s work on our behalf.
- How did brokenness, loss, or struggle invade the past year?
- When did you feel farthest from God?
- Where did sin (your own or others’) cause pain?
Thank the Lord, rescue comes on the heels of our fall. Jesus, our Redeemer, is always on the move, and He is bound and determined to set His people free. Because His priorities and timing are vastly different than ours, rescue often comes in surprising ways.
- Where did you see God push back darkness in and around you this year?
- What glimpses of light breaking through (healing, reconciliation, repentance, reordering, etc.) have you noticed?
- How has Jesus pursued you this year? cared for you?
And, wonder of wonders, a happily ever after waits in the wings for us: our coming restoration! One day all things will be set right, and the world will be as it was always meant to be—bright, beautiful, and brimming with the glory of God as He dwells with His loved ones.
- How did this year prompt you to look heavenward?
- Which aspects of the coming kingdom most fill you with joy?
- How can the everlasting splendor of the heaven you’re heading toward help provide a healthy outlook for the ups and downs of your past year?
Whether you’re slamming the door in your past year’s face or sending it off in a glow of nostalgia, you’re not alone. The same God who created the world (and the year) watched it crumble. He then got busy reclaiming it and holds a million promises for an eternity of pure bliss. And He has never, ever left your side, not even once. May you gain a deeper awareness of His presence in the days ahead.