2020 was a difficult year for so many. Resolutions that were made were forgotten. Goals that were set were thrown out the window. People’s worlds were turned upside down with the loss of family members, the loss of jobs and the lack of true human connection. It was a year of loss for so many, but I believe that God has a plan and is able to take a year like that and to make something good out of it. The world sees times like that and it produces fear that prevents them from moving forward. As Christians, even if life hits us in the face, knocks us down or blindsides us, we get back up and move forward because we are driven by God’s purpose and led by His Spirit.
I can’t help but think of Job and all he went through. In one day he lost his fortune, his livestock, his servants and his kids. He took a knock out blow from life, but instead of staying down, he worshipped God and kept moving forward. He was then attacked with a terrible skin disease. His wife told him to curse God and die. His friends told him it was a punishment from God because of hidden sin. Even though he wished he would have never been born, he still worshipped God. In Job 17:19, he told his friends, “The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger” (NLT). He knew that things happening to him were not because of sin, so he kept getting back up and moving forward.
How do you respond to tough times? Do you let it keep you down or do you get back up? The easy choice is to stay down and to submit to it, but that’s not what God calls us to do. Proverbs 24:16 says that the righteous get knocked down seven times, but they get up again. No matter how many times life knocks us down or what it throws at us, we must get back up and move forward. God has the ability to make all things (including 2020) work together for our good. We have the righteousness of Christ around us that helps us to move forward and to grow stronger through adversity. At all times, in all circumstances, find a way to worship God. It will give you the right perspective and the strength to get back up so you can move forward.
Each hear I start off with a prayer you can pray and personalize.
Thank you for all you did for me and through me in the last year. You were my strength when I couldn’t stand, my hope when I felt like I had none and my way maker when I couldn’t see the path forward. Thank you for providing for all of my needs. You continue to prove yourself faithful even when I fall short. Forgive me for the times I’ve tried to make you fit inside my box of who I think you should be. Help me to trust you more in the coming year and decade so that I can live the life you’ve called me too. I want to walk in the paths you’ve laid out for me instead of the ones I think are best.
I pray that you would fill me with inspiration and a fountain of hope. Holy Spirit, I invite you to live through me so I can live through you. Open my eyes so I can see the things you need me to see. Show me people through your lens so I can love them the way you want me to. Open my heart so I can love others the way you’ve called me to love them. Open my mouth so I can speak life into the people you will put in my path. Help me to fulfill the potential you see in me. Give me the courage to follow you where you’re leading me and the faith to trust what you say more than what I see. Fill me with your joy so I will have the strength to endure anything that comes my way. Help me to remain steadfast trusting in you and the promises found in your Word.
I ask that you bless the 2020’s of my life. Let your hand of favor rest on me and my family in the coming years. Open the windows of Heaven and pour out the blessings you see fit for us so that we can be a blessing to others and point them to you. Give me wisdom in my decisions, and place people in my life who can help me accomplish all you need me to. Put me in the lives of others whom I can help as well. Continue to pour out your grace on my life and help me to be a fountain of your grace to others. Speak to me and through me so I can be a conduit of your peace on earth. Use me any way you see fit. I recognize my life is not my own. It was bought with the price of your Son’s death. So I ask that you help me to do exceedingly and abundantly more than I can even imagine so that you will be glorified through my life. I give the next year and decade to you and place it in your capable hands so you can lead me farther than I thought I could go. Thank you once again for all you’ve done and are going to do in and through me.
When today draws to a close, the whole world will celebrate another year gone. But this isn’t just a year passing, it’s also a decade (and a score as my son will tell you). It’s a time for looking back as well as ahead. Where were you in 2010? What was happening in your life? Are you better off now than then? Are you where you thought you’d be? Had you given any thought to where you wanted to be ten years later? A lot can change in a decade that is out of our control, but there’s also a lot that you and I can control. Looking forward and dreaming about what God wants to do through you is one of those things.
We know Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans He has for us, but do we know the plans we have for ourselves? As a Christian, it’s important to be proactive with our lives. We can’t afford to just go with the flow. You were created with purpose on purpose. Unless you set goals, make a plan, create practical steps to achieve and measure your progress in that plan, you may find yourself in 2030 no where near where you want to be having lost a decade. Where do you want to be 10 years from now? What are some major things you want to accomplish? What would you like God to do through you in that time?
The Golden Rule In Matthew 7:12 tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated. Do you have a goal for how you want to treat others going forward? Romans 15:2 says, “Our goal must be to empower others to do what is right and good for them, and to bring them into spiritual maturity” (TPT). Think of ways you can empower others in your life, and do something daily to do it. You don’t have to do something big, but through your consistent, small actions, you can make a world of difference in the lives of people around you. Seek God on what He would like to do through you to empower others each day so that you can help them reach their goals and spiritual maturity. In ten years, you can change countless lives, but it starts with a choice, a plan and an action.