There have been several Seeds written recently about new beginnings with the start of the new year. As well as making a fresh commitment to the Lord for the season ahead, I have also been looking back with thankfulness over the past year and remembering all the blessings I have received and the ways that God has been at work in my life.
The Bible records many times when the people were encouraged to remember what the Lord had done in the past. Sometimes they even placed memorial stones as an ongoing reminder to them of God’s goodness and faithfulness. One such occasion was after a victory against the Philistines when Samuel set up a stone calling it “Ebenezer” (or “Stone of Help”), saying “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).
Before Christmas I was encouraging the trainees on our NETS programme at Pierrepont to list the “Ebenezer” moments in their lives – times when they knew that God had specifically intervened and helped them. We also encouraged them to think of the particular things that He had done during the first stage of their journey on NETS. For some there had been breakthrough in their relationship with the Lord, as they received new revelation of Him and His love for them; for many there had been healing, physical as well as emotional and spiritual; for some there were breakthroughs in difficult circumstances regarding their families, finances or other situations.
Psalm 105 exhorts us to: “Give thanks to the LORD! … Make known His deeds among the peoples! … Talk of all His wondrous works! … Remember His marvellous works which He has done, His wonders.” As we do this, it not only gives glory to God, but it causes our faith to grow as we remember all that He has done in the past. We will then be more able to trust Him for the future.
Why not take some time to list the Ebenezer moments in your life, particularly over the past year, when God’s help has been evident? Then take time to thank God for what He has done. As we do this, it will stir up our faith and enable us to face the challenges of the new year with renewed trust in our Heavenly Father who is utterly faithful and will never let us down.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for all that You have done for me in the past year. Thank You for Your faithfulness to me in so many ways. I commit my life afresh to You now and trust You for all that lies ahead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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