Murray Campbell Pastors a church in Melbourne; here is an (edited) article he wrote to help you have a spiritual perspective on last year, and how to think (and act) about this year that’s just started —

7. Every act of injustice and evil in 2023— God’s outrage against sin and evil continued last year. He grieves every sin and transgression. God truly grasps the reality and gravity of what harms, destroys and ignores him. See 2 Peter 3:8-10.

6. Christians chasing lesser things that distract from ultimate things— In Christ is all the fullness of spiritual life and treasure. So, isn’t so sad how we often chase so hard after much lesser things? See Matthew 6:19-34.

5. Grief over Christians deconstructing their faith— The message is: Don’t give up the real, Biblical Jesus for a seat at the table of ‘respectability’ and ease. And now for the ‘top 4’ stories, which are more encouraging—

4. Growing holiness in the face of suffering— So many people becoming more like Jesus was a big highlight of 2023. It’s amazing the breadth of places and conditions people are living in and the countless challenges they face. Yet, so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are shining Christ’s light out—a light that is seen in heaven. See 1 Peter 1:5-8; 2 Peter 3:11-14.

3. Thousands of churches are planted— God built his Church in ‘23, in so many countries around this world. Many kept their backs turned away from God, but he will finish what he has started. See Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-21.

2. The salvation of millions of people— Which is the same story as #3 but from a different angle. A few of the names in the conversion stories go viral in the media, but in heaven the name of every single born-again person is viral! Heaven’s choir’s aren’t singing Taylor Swift but the #1 Hit of 2023 (& guaranteed to be the #1 Hit of 2024) is: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.Revelation 7:10.

1. Welcoming Home all who finish the race— Heaven loves a home coming. A great crowd finished the race in 2023 and heard these words from God: “Well done, good and faithful servant.(Luke 19:21). The #1 story of 2023 wasn’t a World Cup or Grand Final, but the crown of righteousness given to all who finish the race. In 2023, millions of people made it Home. See 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

So, that’s a countdown which won’t make the news, but is very helpful for you.

So, when you think about 2023, what do you think about? And for this year, how much do you have heaven’s perspective on this coming year you will live?