Looking Ahead

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.”—Psalm 98:1 (NIV)

There’s an amazing worship song we sometimes sing together at Calvary Chapel titled “Great Things” by Elevation Worship in which we declare the incredible faithfulness of God through challenging seasons of life. What gets me every single time are the lyrics in the bridge, which could have been written as a complement to today’s verse:

“Through the fire and the flood
You have never let me go
And my soul will sing You have done great things
I am weak, You are strong
You will always be my hope
And my soul will sing You have done great things.”

I don’t know about you, but 2018 has been a season of intense trials and testing for my family. Through major illness, the incarceration of a relative, major home repairs, financial stress, relational challenges—the list goes on—it has felt at times as though the fire and the flood would consume us. But what helped keep me grounded is a verse the Lord gave to me in December of 2017 during a service at our Boynton Beach campus in which everyone wrote upon small memorial stones that were handed out to remind us of God’s faithfulness. On my stone, I wrote: “Isaiah 43. God will see us through anything.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 (NIV) says, “But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

As I look back and reflect on the dark valley that we have passed through, God has shown up in so many unexpected ways: through the peace He gives, the love He pours out through others, and the assurance that He is working all things together for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28)—even when it hurts. Although He didn’t spare us from pain, Jesus kept us from being scorched or swept away by the tide of our circumstances. He has done great things and is worthy to be praised!

I pray that as you look ahead toward the coming year, take a moment to look back at all the amazing things God has done this past year—and sing of His faithfulness in hopeful anticipation of the great things yet to come!

DIG: Looking back on the past year, in what ways did God show up and do things you didn’t expect?

DISCOVER: Looking ahead at next year, what would you like for God to do in your life? Ask Him to reveal the ways He is working things together for your good.

DO: As you reflect on God’s faithfulness and the great things He’s done, remember to turn that thankfulness into praise and worship as you sing to Him!