See, I am doing a new thing! (Isaiah 43:19)
When was the last time you ran into someone you knew and asked, “How’s it going?” to which they responded, “Same stuff, different day!” That is a response that the child of God ought never give. It comes from someone who sees life from inside of a rut – which, by the way, is nothing more than a grave with both ends knocked out.
But this is not for you! In our passage for today we have a word of eternal encouragement set before us, regardless of where this message finds you. For many, the past is paralyzing, which is why I often remind our congregation to “Learn from the past, but don’t live there.” When we cannot forget and rise above the former things, we are unable to focus on the new things God intends to do in our lives. We allow ourselves to be trapped in a painful past marked by unforgiveness, bitterness, betrayal, and regret.
Today’s passage provides us the key that unlocks the door that opens to a new thing: focusing on the faithful One who has promised to make all things new (Revelation 21:5). Notice what God went on to say through the prophet Isaiah: “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19). The wasteland in this verse (most English translations render the original Hebrew as wilderness) can represent any desolate and lonely place we have visited in the past – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We all find ourselves wandering in such a place at some point in our lives. But God is telling us something that is designed to change our perspective and ultimately our predicament – “I am doing a new thing!” God is healing our past wounds, breaking down old strongholds, and shining warm light into our cold darkness.
Throughout my years as a pastor, I have seen that perhaps the greatest “new thing” God has done in our lives is to give us a renewed, living hope, even when things seem utterly hopeless. That is the picture of rivers in the desert. God is in the business of doing what is impossible with man.
So, what “new thing” do you need in your life right now? Personally? Professionally? Relationally? Look up and see the heavens open right before your eyes, because your God is about to do a “new thing” in your life today. You have His Word on it.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!