As I look back upon the past year, such an incredible number of things has happened that many of them escape recollection. I ask that you would steep me in reflection and meditation upon these things–help me remember them, so that I might recall your grace through the past year! Though I may be unable to see your grace at work in the course of a day, or even the course of a week, let not the grace that you have worked over the past three hundred sixty five days go by without my notice of them. Condescend, O LORD, to reveal the workings of your grace to me, that I might worship you, and find immeasurable delight in you!
Remind me, God, that you are a God who saves. I have had the privilege of seeing you draw a soul to yourself despite all the barriers of sinful flesh. Forgive me for treating this callously, for not being as amazed as I should. Your power is great, that you can make alive those who are dead in their trespasses (Eph. 2:1-5), and your grace is great, that you should make sons of your enemies (Rom. 5:10, Eph. 1:5). Draw from me the worship you deserve, the worship the angels and saints give (Luke 15:7), when I have such a privilege as this. You are a God who forgives the sins of His people at the utmost cost. Keep this truth at the forefront of my mind, so that I might grow in my amazement of it and in my love for you.
Remind me that you are a God who sanctifies. Despite the persisting hardness of my heart, and that so often I do the sin that I do not want to do (Rom. 7:19), you inevitably bring me to greater holiness and greater obedience (Phil. 1:6). This past year you have shown me sins of selfishness masquerading as “introversion.” You have shown me pride, when I insist that I deserve something because of good deeds that I have done, or when I have insisted on sanctifying people myself, my own way. You have revealed to me my lusts of the flesh and sins of unbelief, and you have done it all so that you might conform me to the image of your Son (Rom. 8:29). I thank you for that, Father! Thank you for sanctifying me despite the rebellion of my flesh, because you have shown me that the greatest joy, the greatest bliss, is to know you and become like you (Phil. 3:8). So overcome, Father, the hardness of my heart, that I might know you!
Thank you for the ways that I have seen growth this past year, as I began discipling younger men, both at school and at home. Thank you for pushing me to greet people I don’t know very well, to seek out new people at GOC to say hello to them, to sit with people who may not have anyone else to sit with. Thank you for keeping me disciplined in meeting with the young men in my small group. I thank you because it is not me who does these things–it is you who works in me (Phil. 2:13)! Not I, but Christ in me (Gal. 2:20)! Because of these things I know that your grace is at work. I know that my God, Yahweh, lives. You are a God who keeps His covenant with His people. You did not leave us orphaned (John 14:8), but are with us now, with the your own Spirit as our helper (John 16:7). Continue to grow me, God, so that I might be your light to this world (Matt. 5:14).
And remind me that you are a God who soothes. I have faced several trials this past year. I have suffered: sometimes at my own hand, sometimes at the hand of others, sometimes for the sake of your name. Through it all, you have been my comfort. Through your word you have lifted my head, reminding me that this affliction is light and momentary, and that it is not purposeless! You have worked the trials of my faith to prepare for me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17). You have reminded me that the treasure of Christ is worth everything, and that I should desire to sell everything I have to gain possession of Him (Matt. 13:44). So continue to remind me of this, so that my greatest comfort would not be the avoidance of pain or the abundance of possessions, but a deep and experiential knowledge of you at whatever cost!
You have lavished many blessings on me this year, and I acknowledge that they come from you, because from you comes every good gift (James 1:17a). New friends, a strengthening of relationships with old ones, a believing roommate for the first time in two years; books to read and enjoy, good health. You would be good even if you did not give me those things, but you are even greater because they demonstrate the vast extent of your fatherly love (Matt. 7:11).
In all of these things, strengthen my remembrance of who you are and what you have done. Mark in my memory the myriad instances of your grace and faithfulness, that this coming year when I am weary from this race, I can look back at your work and find strength to continue running. With the knowledge that your character is unchanging (James 1:17b), may memories of your grace in the past strengthen my faith in the anticipation of your grace in the future. Do all these things, Father, that you would be glorified in me as I find my full satisfaction and delight in you. Help me to see Christ as supreme over all things. I am feeble. I am weak. I desperately need you to carry me so that I can know you the way I ought. So help me remember you, that I might glorify you. Draw the glory from me that you deserve.