"Don't call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
This verse is one of my favorites to think about as one year comes to an end and another begins. The Book of Isaiah was written to call the nation of Judah back to God after the northern 10 tribes of Israel were taken captive by the Assyrians. In it, Isaiah prophesies that the time is coming when Judah will be taken captive by the Babylonians (Isaiah 39:5-6). Isaiah’s prophecy had to be discouraging to God’s people. In spite of this coming judgment, the Lord promises in Isaiah 43:14-19 that He will do “something new” to bring them back. A promise of coming hope.
Though God had done amazing miracles in their nation’s past, He exhorts them not to dwell in history and make that their focus. Just as He had saved them by making a way through the wilderness and bringing rivers in the desert when He brought them out of Egypt, He would do something new again in their future to bring them back from Babylon.
How does this apply to our lives today? As Christians, God has done great things for us! He has saved us from pride, immorality, addictions, and countless other sins and given us new life through Jesus’ death on the cross. We should remember this with gratitude without getting caught in the trap of thinking that all of the great things God has done are in our past.
We should remember this with gratitude without getting caught in the trap of thinking that all of the great things God has done are in our past.
Likewise, if our past has been filled with troubles, difficulties, and discouraging times, we should not focus on those things. God is still working and wants to do something new in our lives today and every day. Will we believe that He is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)?
Imagine what we could see happen in our lives and in our church if we all would believe that He will do something new in the coming year!