From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Looking back is difficult for many people. When a year brings heartache and loss, tragedy and sorrow, we do hope that we can turn the page to greater days ahead. For those who have experienced life that brings blessings—a marriage, a new baby, a new home or job, or just generally good health—we find ourselves rejoicing.
If we close the year with regret, we should pause and prayerfully ask two important questions. First, how does God look on the past, and did it bring us any closer to Him? Did it expose any weaknesses in our lives? Could we have disappointed the Lord in how we responded to the challenges life brought us? What lessons can we take from one year to the next?
God wants us to learn from the past and He also wants us to thank Him for being with us through hard times and good times, to remember that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. This is the great hope for those who follow Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. We should not be bound by the past and its failures.
This is what the Apostle Paul’s goal was: “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
May the new year bring new opportunities to trust the Lord more and to grow in the knowledge of Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)