Happy New Year!
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former thing, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Our God is a God of renewal, restoration, and hope. This verse in Isaiah is a verse of renewed hope. The Lord wanted the Israelites to stop looking back at what was past, at what they left behind. The Israelites were in captivity when Isaiah wrote this and their minds were stuck on what had been.
You know how that goes, when things go bad you think back to what the good old life was like before it all turned sour. When we get stuck or imprisoned in the problems of this life, we often wonder why God doesn’t change the situation. We may think why doesn’t He make it better according to what we think would be best. We may wonder why He ever allowed it to get this bad in the first place. We forget that no matter what, God has the best plan laid out.
Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year, we have set goals, and dreamed dreams of what we desire to take place. We think ahead to all of the possibilities, to what we want God to do in our lives.
We may have even taken time to look back over 2016. Just taking some moments to time review it in our minds. We may have smiled at our successes, remembering the people and things that brought us joy. Maybe we thought about the things that went wrong, where we failed miserably, or about the goals that we didn’t meet.
We may have recognized and come to terms with how often failed to please God. Maybe we made poor choices, or didn’t even seek Him. We may now realize how desperate we are to receive forgiveness and how we need the Lord’s wisdom in order to move forward.
The new year is a good time to take stock of all of that. It is a time to consider where the Lord is leading you. What opportunities is He making available to you? Sometimes we realize the places we feel He is leading us are scary places that fill us with fear. A new job, a different town or state, a cut in our salary, or a crippling disease. Changes in life are often unexpected and frequently unwanted. We feel safe in the status quo. But we don’t learn trust when everything is going well. We often lose sight of God in times of self-sufficiency.
So, in this new year, no matter what you are dealing with, remember the Lord will make a way when it seems impossible.
Isaiah 51:10 says, “Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over?”
Yes, it was You Lord! You are the one who gives us hope, who leads us through the impossible, and You are the one who gives us victory.
The Lord is able to make a way through whatever place or predicament we are in. And what is so beautiful is that it doesn’t matter to Him how we got there. His love overcomes it all. We can start anew now in 2017, no matter what our past has been. He is with us to lead us, we must only seek Him, trust Him, and follow Him.
There are no guarantees that it will be easy, in fact, He often waits for us to step out in faith. The Israelites, led by Joshua, had to walk into the waters of the Jordan River before the waters parted. They had to get the soles of their feet wet in the flooding river before God parted the water (see Joshua 3). It is as if God was asking them, do you trust Me enough to move forward before I clear the path?
God calls us, leads us, and equips us for what He has for us. He gives us feet for the path He puts us on. We need to look ahead and move forward with courage and expectation as we begin 2017 trusting that God has a perfect plan for us. All that He has for us comes out of his heart of unconditional love.
My prayer for us is this:
Lord, Help us to start anew in 2017 with steadfast faith in You, believing that You have the perfect plan and will make a way for us. Thank you Lord for Your unfailing love, thank You for Your amazing grace. Our hope is in You alone. Lead us and guide us, moment-by-moment, step-by-step, through 2017. And Lord, may all we do be for Your glory and honor. In Jesus holy name. Amen.
May your new year be full of many blessimgs.
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