What an incredible year 2020 has been! The world has seen disruption of economies, industries, families and personal lives. People and their loved ones have gotten ill and over a million people have died worldwide from a new disease.
Industries such as tourism, aviation and sport have taken a hit, as people have been unable to travel and explore certain hobbies and leisure activities.
2020 has been a topsy-turvy year due to the covid-19 virus. When the outbreak began, many didn’t expect a virus in China would have so impacted the world. This global pandemic has resulted in massive losses on many levels. The medical systems in several countries have been pushed beyond the brink, resulting in a huge psychological and physical toll on patients and health workers, and their families.
Yet people have also adjusted. More time has been spent with family and friends, people have found ways to connect virtually and to explore their passions and life’s purpose in innovative ways. New industries have sprung up to take advantage of the current circumstances. Companies have adapted to new ways of working and serving clients in a digital space. For some, it has brought renewed connection with God and an appreciation of what is important.
For me, 2020 has brought hope and successes even as there have been disappointments. I have been reading my Bible more consistently and spending the first moments of my day actively seeking to hear from God during devotion time. The directions He gives me help guide my day and give me peace. My relationship with God is closer than before covid-19.
I have had the privilege of being able to work remotely from Jamaica where I am able to spend time with family. I have been more intentional with my creative writing and my efforts have borne fruit. God has been good to me in so many ways and I am thankful.
2021 is almost here. Does that fill you with a sense of dread? Or excitement?
In this short article, I want to give you some encouragement about ending the year well and how you can look forward to the next year with anticipation for great things.
I have some suggestions you can consider applying to put a more positive spin on the bad things that may be happening in your life.
1. Pause and reflect.
The Bible often encourages believers to consider, as the verses below illustrate:
1 Samuel 12:24:
“Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great [things] he hath done for you.”
“Know therefore this day, and consider [it] in thine heart, that the LORD he [is] God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: [there is] none else.”
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.”
“Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
The Christian life requires quiet moments of pause. We should intentionally and carefully direct our minds to the things God wants us to think about. Not our own anxieties, worries and doubts.
We should actively consider God’s goodness to us, his blessings, the suffering and pain he walks with us in and brings us through. Give him thanks for the people in your life, opportunities, the gift of love that you give and receive. Gratitude is a key part of a believer’s daily life (Psalm Chapter 34 verse 1).
Consider ways in which you can get better in every area of your life: in using your gifts, in serving God’s people, advancing His Kingdom, supporting and being there for your friends and family and benefiting your community.
You can dissect it by area and ask God for his divine wisdom. For example, in finances, given the uncertainty of jobs and income due to covid-19, you can ask God to show you specifically where you can reduce expenses and increase sources of revenue by using your talents to generate earnings or by investing. Ask Him how you can use your profits to help other people, build your emergency fund and secure your own financial well in times of dryness.
Part of this consideration process is also to look into where you stand in your Christian life. Examine your actions and level of obedience in light of the Word of God (2 Corinthians Chapter 13 verse 5). Where there is a gap, repent and seek out a godly Christian for confession and prayer (James Chapter 5 verse 16).
In Part 2 I will discuss further suggestions to make it through this year.
Sharma Taylor is a corporate attorney with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Law from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She won the 2017 Basil Sellers International Young Writers prize in the Press Service International young writer program, the 2019 Tronson Award (International) and the 2021 Basil Sellers award for International Senior Writers. Every day, she loves experiencing the beautiful surprises that God has stored up for her and longs to keep cultivating a servant-heart.