“Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am and making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Making something new, how can this be?
How can we leave the past behind when all we see is the same old same old since 2020?
How do we go into our new year when we do not see an end to this virus that has plagued our world?
I wonder if the Israelites must have had this same feeling while they were waiting for their Savior to redeem them:
- Did they live in hopelessness?
- Or did they grasp onto God’s promises?
- Could they see past the fog of desperation?
We are told that some pushed on to claim the promises of God while others lived in hopelessness.
How do we want to live? Dwelling on the past or living in the present. Choosing to live in the presence gives us the opportunities to share the love of Jesus, joining Him in the new work that He has begun. Believing big that He is doing something new. As the Message Bible says in Isaiah 43:19, “It is bursting out..” and Isaiah tells us that God is making a way in the desert. He is making rivers in dry land.
Are you in dry land today? I know that I have been stepping in and out of dry land lately.
Are you dwelling on the past? Just when it seemed as if we were going to be able to live in our new normal with some renewed activities, everything seemed to dry up again. It is so easy to get caught up in hopelessness when we look down instead of up to our Savior.
I read a quote by Elizabeth Elliot, and boy, did it hit home in a mighty way:
“If you dwell on your own feelings about things rather than dwelling on the faithfulness, the love, and the mercy of God, then you are likely to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Our feelings are very fleeting and ephemeral, aren’t they? We can’t depend on them for five minutes at a time. But dwelling on the love, faithfulness, and mercy of God is always safe.”
If you have struggled doing life with thoughts and feelings instead of God’s promises, “How is that working for you?” as Dr Phil would ask. I sure know when I get caught up in feelings, my thoughts can go south quickly.
Claiming the promise of Isaiah 43:18-19 that He is making something new gets me excited about 2022. He says, “Don’t you see it?” Do we need new eyes to see or just renewed eyes? I think a little of both, don’t you? Sometimes when the challenges of life are so difficult, we forget to put new eyes on what God is doing. Instead of asking why this is happening, we could ask God what He is trying to teach us.
I love Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.”
And Proverbs 4:23 “Be careful how you think: your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
Dwelling on thoughts of God’s great love for us, His grace and His faithfulness will keep our thoughts on Him who makes all things new. Living in the present, sharing the love of Jesus, will change hearts one at a time as we keep focused on our purpose and our mission. We will be able to see firsthand, with new eyes, how His mercy and compassion never fail.
We were made for such a time as this. Let us not miss this amazing opportunity to see new things bursting out as we love and serve others together in 2022.