Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
Have you ever felt lost? I’m not talking about the I’m not a Christian kind of lost, but rather a feeling of floundering and not knowing what direction life is taking you. I’ve been there. I know what it feels like to be listless and longing for some direction. Maybe you have a vision of where you want to go, or maybe you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration. Either way, our feelings of being lost can’t stop God from getting us where He wants us to go.
Recently, I was feeling like I knew what direction I wanted my life to take, I just couldn’t see the path to get there. Even though I could see it clearly in my head, I couldn’t figure out the steps to make it happen. I was feeling hopeless, thinking that I would never get to that place. I was in need of some major encouragement! So, I turned to God’s Word and this verse from Isaiah jumped out at me. God was so good to show me His great promises within it.
Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old…
It’s okay for us to let go of the past. All of the failures and heartbreaks that we’ve experienced over the years can really bring us down. I fall into this trap a lot. I think about all of the things I’ve done wrong or failed at and I let it keep me from trying again. But God is saying to let it go and move forward.
Behold, I will do a new thing…
When we let go of the past, then God can do something new in our lives. He has a new plan just around the next corner for us. We can move forward knowing that God is in control and is about to make that new plan happen.We can move forward knowing that God is in control and is about to make that new plan happen. #EncouragementClick To Tweet
Now it shall spring forth…
This verse makes me think of a very charming town close to us here in Arkansas. Eureka Springs is only about forty- five minutes away and we love to visit there. It has some great antique shops and beautiful Victorian homes. But it was originally built so that people could bathe in the natural springs that flow up from the ground there. Nothing can stop these springs from flowing. They are a natural force that just happens. That’s the kind of force God is promising us. It will happen because He has made it so. Whatever it is that God has promised you, it will happen in His perfect timing. It will spring forth and flow.Whatever it is that God has promised you, it will happen in His perfect timing. #godsplanClick To Tweet
I will even make a road in the wilderness…
When you’re hiking or camping it’s much easier to follow the game trails. The tall weeds have already been knocked down, the thorns have been pushed to the side and the trails wind around the trees instead of into them. This is what God promises to do for us. He has already gone before us and blazed the trail, making it so much easier for us to follow His path.
And rivers in the desert…
I remember years ago, I was traveling with my dad through the Mohave Desert on our way to California. It was so hot that the car’s tires started to melt a little! I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if we had been walking instead of driving, especially without water. This is why God has promised to give us a river in the desert. When we lose hope and feel like we’ve lost our way, God offers to give us rest and restoration along the way. Then when we are refreshed we can continue the journey.
I pray that this verse from Isaiah will encourage you the same way that it has encouraged me. God is ready to do something new in your life! All you need to do is follow His path.
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The dark days of winter are here. The beauty of the fall leaves has passed and the barren trees are all that is left behind. I keep seeing the coverage of the snow storms on the news and my heart goes out to everyone who is struggling through another winter storm. Although we haven’t had the extreme weather here in Arkansas that others are experiencing, I know how difficult it can be. I remember some of the hard ice storms we’ve endured in the past. A few years ago, my mom was fighting cancer and we had to get her to St. Louis for a very important treatment. But the problem was, we were in the middle of one of the worst ice storms in recent history. My dad, brother and I spent most of the day shoveling snow, putting towels and kitty litter under the tires trying desperately to get the car uncovered and unstuck so we could leave before the next wave of snow came down. It was exhausting!
It’s during these times that it’s easy to forget the reason why God made winter. When we’re shoveling snow and driving to work on sheets of ice, or battling a cold or the flu the benefit of this season can get lost in the struggle just to get through it.
You have set all the borders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
In the beginning, God established the borders and limits of nature for our benefit. He made a beautiful creation for us to live on when He made the earth. And it is not a coincidence that He created the seasons. Each season has a purpose in maintaining our environment. And winter is an important part of God’s plan to preserve the earth for our use.
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater.
Just as our bodies need rest, so does the earth. God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us and all of nature this time to rest and prepare for the coming spring. The falling snow replenishes our water supply and keeps the trees alive during this dormant time. The frost protects the soil and keeps the seeds preserved for the springtime planting.
Some of the animals are hibernating, while others have migrated to warmer climates. In truth, I’m hibernating a little bit this year too. I’m still recovering from an injury and falling on the slippery ice is not my idea of a good time. So, I’ll use this cold snap to curl up with a good book, rest my body and renew my mind as I look forward to the coming spring.
This is my hope and prayer for all of us this Winter…
…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
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It’s a new year and for most of us that means making new resolutions. We make plans to accomplish all of the things we have thought about and dreamed about all year long.
Now that the Thanksgiving pie and Christmas cookies are gone, most of us will resolve to lose weight. We spend lots of money on gym memberships or workout DVDs in the hope of shedding those extra pounds.
We spend most of the year caught up in the grind at work and now we want to improve our relationships with the people in our lives. So we resolve to carve out time for those we love.
Maybe some of us will take up a new hobby or plan next summer’s vacation.
But no matter what your resolutions are, they have something in common. We all want to do something new with our lives. We want to feel the excitement of the road less traveled and to have a renewed hope for a better future. These resolutions represent a transformation we want to take place in our lives.
But if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, then an amazing transformation has already taken place.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Because we are in Christ, He has made us new. He has cleansed us of our past transgressions, changed us from within and transformed us into the very likeness of Himself.
He has given us the ability to let go of the past and move forward into that better future we have hoped for. We no longer have to think about all of the wrong things we have done. And we no longer have to compare our lives to the people around us. We are a new creation, a spiritual creation. Now we can see the world through spiritual eyes.
Where will that take us this year? I hope that it will bring us closer to God and that we will consider what He wants our future to look like. As you are making your resolutions this year and striving to maintain them, I encourage you to think about the things you can do to improve your spiritual life as well as those that will improve your personal life. So, I leave you with this verse that we all know so well and the one I will be thinking about this New Year.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Happy New Year and God bless!