Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
As we stroll into 2017, taking stock of 2016 is in order – to count our blessings and be grateful for them as well as adjust our outlook and settings for the New year.
2016 will no doubt have had its fair share of personal highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies, achievements and failures. Some may have recorded heavy losses in the past year – lost ground in their walk with the Lord, financial, personal or other loss while others may have experienced net gains – in business, academia, health or in the form of substantial spiritual advances in their lives.
But as you look back and consider 2016 – even through the greatest challenges, deepest crises and worst failures you experienced it is God who upheld you in them and His grace that carried you through them into 2017.
He is the one ...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 103:3 — 5
Lest we forget, His benefits are all around us – so give thanks.
Whatever the challenges and threats, opportunities and strengths of 2016, it is categorically not God’s will for you to live your life in regret of the past or in a cartwheel of defeat. God’s all time purpose and plan for each one of us is an upward trajectory of increase and growth in all areas of our lives among which our transformation into His likeness from one degree of glory to another takes first priority. (Romans 8:29 and 2 Cor 3:18)
Regardless of what is etched in your memory from 2016 (and its genesis – self inflicted or otherwise), it does not define 2017 or the years ahead. It is you who will make the decision as to who or what defines your 2017 and beyond. God is greater than our experiences or circumstances that we personally face and it is His supremacy over all things in our lives we acknowledge when we choose to intentionally thank Him for the year gone by no matter what it brought with it.
..giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Here is God’s revealed will for us, to thank Him always and for everything no matter what. Our duty is to always and for everything give thanks to God who is the author and conductor of our lives – not circumstances or fortune. We acknowledge God’s superiority over all things in our lives as we choose to give thanks for everything – 2016 included no matter what its colours – secure in the knowledge ….that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose
(Rom 8:28). Period.