Its always good to look back and reflect on the past year. As one year passes and another begins, there is both looking back and looking forward. Here is a list of four lessons I’ve learned from the past year.
calendar 2014
1. Times were tough, but we’re still here
Tough times are a part of life. Indeed, 2014 was tough for many, but the fact remains that we are still here. There are reasons for us to remain right here in spite of all our difficulties.
First, it is a witness to God’s mercy and His sustaining power. That has certainly kept us going in the past. Even when we resisted, complained, and grumbled, it was still God who sustained us.
Second, He has a purpose that needs to be fulfilled in and through us. If we hang in there, and allow Him to use us, He will certainly fulfill His purposes. It’s never too late, He will work things out.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12).

2. God was our only hope
Last year, during our difficult times, we turned to many sources for help, only to find out that most doors were closed. No matter how much we pushed, those doors remained closed.
Finally, we come to the point where we give up and acknowledge that God is our only hope. He is the one who opens and closes doors for us.
We don’t realize it at that time, but our hearts get troubled, and we begin to question everything. The struggles are intense, and we can’t see any solution. But our solution is God. He is our hope.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation (Psalm 42:5).

3. We’ve got to learn our lessons
When we thought there is no way out and that life will just tear us apart, we’ve got to remember the old saying, “Life is not out to break us, but to make us.”

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces (Psalm 119:71-72).

Afflictions are certainly not good. But the lessons we learn are the good part. So, in effect, it is good that we are afflicted so we may learn.
But if we don’t learn from the past, we will continue to make the same mistakes year after year. Or, we will continue to attempt everything ourselves without trusting in God. For each person, the lessons are different, but we’ve got to learn them.
4. Look up and forward with hope
If we haven’t learned anything else, I hope we learn that we must look up to God and look forward to what He has for us in the future. This is our preferred response when we face difficult times.
So, in 2014, we may have gone in circles trying to figure out what’s going on, and why everything is falling apart. But because of the above three reasons, I hope we’ve learned to look up. Our hope is only there.
Looking up gives us the strength to look forward. With God, there is a future even when everything in life has already fallen apart.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

So, what lessons have you learned from 214? Share at least one in the comments below.

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