As I write this, we are about halfway through the first month of the new year. Our lives have gotten back to normal after the sometimes chaotic days of the holiday season. The euphoria of the Christmas and New Year celebrations has waned, and the newness of the new year is probably beginning to wear off for many people. Some of us are now starting to come to the realization that, although we are in a new year, some things are still the same. They are still looking for a job, their marriages are still in trouble, or their finances are still lacking.
As I think about new things, the book of Isaiah comes to mind. When the prophet Isaiah is writing, the Israelites are in a very sinful state. Isaiah confronts them about their sin, and warns them of coming judgment against them. At the same time, he urges them to repent and turn back to God. Some of his words in the earlier parts of the book are not very hopeful, where he predicts their destruction (which will happen at the hands of the Babylonians). However, the verses that jump out at me as I think about the new year are verses 18 and 19 from chapter 43.
18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
To me, those verses have ‘hope’ written all over them! God is offering consolation and hope to the Israelites that, although they will have to go through something (exile), He will deliver them. They will face difficulties, but ultimately, they will get through them and will be able to give God glory for their deliverance. The application to our lives is very simple. God never said that when our man-made time system (our calendar) changed from one division of time (a year) to another, that things would automatically be different. He never said that our circumstances would change instantaneously (we do know, however, that He has the power to do it if He so desired). But God is giving us hope, just like He gave the Israelites hope, that He WILL do a new thing, and that is SHALL spring forth! We are to expect our new thing!! We are to anticipate our new thing with joy! Why? Because He said he would do it! And God’s word is the only word that we can bet everything on. We should KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that our new thing will happen, because this promise is coming from the One who never breaks a promise. This assurance is coming from the One whose word is true and faithful.
So what do we do in the meantime? We hold on to our hope while we wait for our new thing, we trust the One who made the promise to deliver our new thing, and we wait with great expectation and joy.
What new thing are you anticipating today? Instead of losing hope because the days are the new year are passing by and nothing has happened, exercise your faith, be hopeful, and with joy praise God for the new thing He’s going to accomplish in your life. It WILL spring forth!