Do not dwell on the past
Have you ever felt as if God is fed up with you? Perhaps you feel your mistakes are too great to be forgiven. Maybe you wish you could go back to a time when things were better.
Our key verse offers us words of encouragement: “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 making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18 – 19)
The prophet Isaiah spoke these words to the people of Israel during a time when they were in captivity. They had lost everything they thought they’d keep forever because of their rebellion. They assumed God wanted nothing to do with them any more.
Yet God responded: Forget the past. Whatever you’ve done or how far you’ve strayed, I’m doing a new thing in your life today!
Wherever you find yourself today, God is doing a new thing in your life. Our key verse from Isaiah teaches us how to embrace all he is doing in several key ways:
Forget the former things: It’s impossible to see where God is leading if we are always looking back.
The Israelites longed for former days when they had God’s favour. They remembered when God made a way of escape through the Red Sea, when he protected them from the enemy and how he provided for their needs. The Israelites were looking to the past for present solutions. Yet their past victories couldn’t do anything to free them in the present. They needed a new work. A new miracle. A new victory.
Recognise your future is now: Just as the seed sprouts below the ground before we see evidence of a new flower, God is already at work in us doing a new thing. It is not something in the future. It is springing up now. We can’t see it yet, but it’s in motion. God’s work of new life within us happens every day. He works to strengthen our relationship with him, both spiritually and practically. We must focus on the work he is doing in our lives right now. Can you perceive it?
Commit to God’s plan: Whether we see possibilities or problems in our lives, God is making a way for us. The Israelites thought they didn’t deserve anything from God. Yet God doesn’t condemn his children. Rather, he lends a helping hand.
“…. I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19b)
We may feel that our lives are nothing more than a wasteland, but God turns our past into a stream of new life. God can transform your desert into a field of blessing. He can bring new life from an old, dried-up one.
No matter your past, God has already set into motion a new direction and a new purpose for your life. Will you commit to his plan?
Dear Jesus, I believe you’re working something new in my life, help me to recognise your activity, and give me a grateful heart towards your mercy that never gives up on me. In Jesus name, Amen