As the new year starts, many of us are making resolutions for the year ahead. We’re resolving to live healthier, eat better, and love more. Our fresh calendars bring great opportunities for dreaming and planning.
At the same time, the mark of a new year is also a beautiful opportunity to reflect on the year behind us. It’s a chance to remember what went well and to recall what was hard. It’s an opportunity to look back on how God sustained us through it all, savoring and cherishing the work of Christ in 2023.
In fact, the Bible often talks about remembering what God has done in the past (Deuteronomy 6:12, 8:2, Ecclesiastes 12:1, Acts 20:35). So as Christians, we would be remiss if we didn’t reflect on the past 12 months, remembering what God has done in 2023. In light of this, here is a list of questions to help you reflect and prepare for the year ahead:
1. How was God faithful to you last year?
Through seasons of blessing and seasons of difficulty, the Lord is always faithful to us. Reflect on the specific ways that God has been kind to you in this last year, using the following prompts:
- When, where, and how did you experience the grace of God in 2023?
- How did you grow in your love for Christ this last year?
- What did you learn about God’s character this last year?
- What did you read in the Bible this last year, and how did it change you? How was your time in prayer?
2. What went well last year?
What were some of the victories from 2023? What are some of the relationships, trips, or memories you are most thankful for? Here are a few prompts to help you reflect:
- How did God grow your love for your family, the church, your neighbors?
- What victories did you have in your family, your relationships, and in your personal or professional life?
- What healthy decisions did you make for your body this year?
- What trips did you take this year?
- Who did you share the gospel with this year?
3. What didn’t go well last year?
Even as we consider what went well last year, it is also helpful to think about what was difficult. Maybe there were circumstances that were particularly hard in 2023. Or perhaps there were certain relationships or thoughts that were especially troubling. How was the Lord with you even in those difficult seasons? Consider the following prompts to help you think through this question:
- Did you experience relational struggles this last year? With whom?
- When did discontentment or self-pity creep into your thoughts, replacing worship and gratitude?
- On what did you waste your time?
- What were a few of the hardest moments of 2023? How have you seen glimpses of the Lord using those moments for His glory and your good (Romans 8:28)?
4. How would you like to plan for 2024?
After reflecting on the joys and trials of 2023, pray for the upcoming year.
- How would you like to grow in Bible reading, prayer, and your involvement in the local church?
- What habits and spiritual disciplines would you like to grow in this year?
- What can you trust God for this year?
- What dreams and goals do you have for the year ahead?
As you reflect on the past year and make plans for 2024, prayerfully take your goals to the Lord, for apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5).
At the Daily Grace Co., we are praying that this year, you would savor Christ more. We pray that Jesus would be your greatest treasure and that you would fall more deeply in love with Him this year through His Word.
May the Lord bless, sustain, and grow your faith in 2024.