This week, as we approach New Year’s Day, it is always a time of reflection for me — a time to look back over the previous year at what Christ has done in my life and in the lives of people around me. This year may have been a joyous one for you or possibly a strenuous one.

Our family has a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this year. We moved into a new home, adopted our daughter in December, and found out we are expecting our third baby in July. Our family has been truly blessed.

This year has also brought a lot of hardship — family members dealing with mental illness, marriages ending and broken relationships.

I can look back at each milestone, tough situation and celebration and see God in each circumstance. The peace that was needed at just the right time, protection over loved ones when it was needed the most, and being given the spirit of grace along with the words to say to mend relationships. If this year has been a hard one, I hope you can find peace in John 16:33 and Isaiah 41:10.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
— John 16:33

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
— Isaiah 41:10

As Christians, we were not made for this world, but were made for something greater. Take comfort in knowing that Christ and only Christ can bring peace in any situation.

Trust that even in the good and bad, Christ deeply loves and cares about his children. As we move into the new year, I challenge you to look back on 2016 and consider how Christ was by your side in both the hard times and moments of ease. I hope we all see that he is worthy to be trusted and praised.

For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.  He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
— Psalms 33:4-6