“Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ~ Isaiah 43:18-19
There is often a thought in today’s culture that progress is the sign of health and success. Therefore, “old things” have little worth and only hold back progress and growth. In fact, Christian congregations are also not immune to this thought and it pits old and new, past and present against each other. Passages like the one above has been used to perpetuate this thought, to the disadvantage of many congregations. In Isaiah’s context, the “former things” contained a narrative of pain, exile, and hopelessness. That past prevented them from seeing what God was doing in the present, and what God would do for them in the future.
The last couple of years has clearly reminded us that New Year ushers in many changes. What will the New Year hold? Some more than others are eager to leave 2021 behind and are gearing up for a fresh start. But who of us really knows what this New Year holds?
What changes (if any) are in store for us with state and federal politics? Will there be any more terrorist attacks in our country? Will my health improve? Will I lose those extra pounds? Will my family be safe and healthy? Will I have a change in career? Some of these things we have some level of control over, but others… well, let’s just say… it’s like accurately predicting the weather forecast for the entire year.
While we can’t be sure what the future holds, we do know who holds the future! And the One who holds the future also holds us in His almighty hand!
Consider the comfort that is promised in the Word of God such as promised in Psalm 73: 23-26, “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
What comfort to know with certainty that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) has already taken us by the hand? God has a wonderful and tender way of calming our anxious and worried hearts when it comes to matters that are out of our control. With God at the helm, what worries can there be? God has already promised to be with you and to lead and guide you all your days. He has promised to come again and graciously bring you into eternal glory. There is nothing in this temporal life that can offer anything better or surer than the gifts which flow from God’s hand.
While none of us knows what the future holds, we have One who holds on to us through it all; especially as we prepare to enter the New Year.
God bless and keep you in 2022 unto life eternal!