The Importance of Looking Back, Albeit Briefly... What Did I Learn?
As I look back on 2020 I definitely see the Lord's Favor! Yes, I see the Lord's Favor in 2020 and I expect it to continue strong into 2021!
"What? Are you crazy?" No, I am not crazy. Let's go back a few thousand years. Let's think about how Jesus' disciples must have felt seeing their Lord arrested, tortured, and crucified. "It was not supposed to go down like this!"
Let's put ourselves at the scene of the crucifixion of Jesus some two thousand years ago and speculate upon how His disciples must have felt. Can you imagine what they must have felt after Jesus was crucified? I can't, but if I could I might have felt their great sense of loss. But was it?
"To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn," Isaiah 61:2
Immediately after the crucifixion, we know the disciples were devastated. We know for certain that they were absolutely devastated. They thought all was lost. But was it? Was the crucifixion and death of Jesus a bad thing? Did the disciples lose anything? In reality, Jesus dying on the cross was one of the best events in the history of mankind and still is. As a matter of fact, shortly before being crucified Jesus said as much. Jesus declared the Year of the Favor of God is upon mankind!
Looking For God's Favor On Our Lives
Truth changes everything. The truth is, "I am a child of God, and so are you!" As a believer in Jesus Christ, I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and the Scriptures within the Holy Bible declare I am a child of God and that He loves me, and I believe that too. Therefore, as His child, I can boldly proclaim that the favor of God is upon me, and it is upon all of us!.
"And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21
Looking Back to Prepare to Move Forward
We should always spend a bit of time at the end of each year to look back and ponder. It's healthy to look back and reflect, especially if you are in a conversation with your Heavenly Father. He will teach you many good things if you ask!
But when we look back on 2020, be prepared to count your blessings and to praise His name! When you ponder look for His glory and grace and goodness IN ALL YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. Don't look at your circumstances, but look in them and you will find God in them too. You will find HIM! He's the goodness that surrounded you. It's called, His Favor. It went before you and it's all around you and even in you.
Using "hindsight" I thanked God for several unanswered prayers. At the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, I was praying hard and believing in faith for a few things, things that never happened. Unanswered prayers you could call them. I can honestly say THANK GOD for those particular unanswered prayers! Praise God He didn't answer my prayers.
At the time I was under attack and nothing seemed to be going my way, personally or professionally.
in 2019 and 2020, everything I touched broke and the best plans failed. It seemed as though God stopped listening, or I stopped hearing from Him. Uncertainty was my constant companion.
To say the least, by the end of the first quarter of 2020, I was feeling so defeated I seriously pondered giving up.
I could not understand why so many prayers we going unanswered. Today, I Thank God they went unanswered! Back then, I thought God had disserted me, but in fact, He was never closer. God was loving me more than ever before, regardless of what it seemed like, God was there in THE BIGGEST AND BEST WAY EVER!
Yes, going into 2020 I had clear hopes and dreams, and most went unfulfilled, THANK GOD! Had they been fulfilled during 2020, they most likely would have been disasters. The hopes and dreams God gave are still alive, they've only been delayed.
The vision is true, but it's not the right time. But soon enough, in due time God will exalt me and bless the works of my hands. It's a promise!
Do You Have Room For The New?
Although I love the vivid visions and dreams God puts into my heart, they are His visions and His dreams, and He can do with them as He wishes.
The visions and dreams God gave me for 2020 were so beautiful and alive and real. Yes, the visions and dreams I had this time last year, the pre-COVID visions and dreams, were all-powerful and beautiful, and they still are. They are very much real and very much alive.
Yes, 2020 was a difficult year, and the pain from all the uncertainty and all the pain from the tremendous loss is real, and it still very raw. Yet, 2020 was my best year ever! By far, in 2020 I grew closer to God! Closer than I thought possible! What about you?
In 2020, I grew up in the Lord. My plans, my skills, my thoughts, and my dreams were all thwarted, in Jesus' name. I was stripped, pruned, and made lowly, and it was so beautiful. Painful at the time, but as my flesh (ego) suffered my Spirit grew. God transformed my mind and my heart. I was translated into the Kingdom of His Light. I consider the gift from God in 2020 to be similar in scope and importance to the crucifixion 2000 years ago.
Going into 2021 I am more hopeful than ever before! Why? Because in 2020 I saw the FAVOR OF GOD and it is upon me! God is moving and acting, and I came to realize as my Heavenly Father, He never stops moving and acting.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?" Romans 8:28-31
Hindsight 2020 By Pastors Steven and Holly Furtick
Yes, I Have Room For The New... Do You?
This year I start off knowing that I have room for the new things God is doing. I am very open and my heart has been made right. God knows what He is doing, and 2020 prepared me perfectly for what will happen in 2021. Why am I so confident?
"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
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