“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 with something like, “Same stuff . . . different day!” That is a response the child of God ought never give. It comes from someone who sees life from inside of a rut. (A rut, by the way, is nothing more than an open grave with both ends knocked out.) But this is not for you! In our passage for today we have before us what I believe is a word of eternal encouragement, regardless of where this message finds you today.
For many, the past is paralyzing, which is why I often say from the pulpit, “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 mired in a painful past — stuck in a rut — that is marked by unforgiveness, bitterness, betrayal, and regret.
Today’s passage provides us with the key that unlocks the door that opens to a new thing: focusing on the faithful One who has promised to do a new thing in our lives. Notice what God says next in the same verse: “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). “The wilderness” represents any desolate and lonely place we have visited in the past – mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Eventually we all find ourselves wandering through such a wilderness. But God is telling us something that will change our perspective and ultimately our predicament – “I am doing a new thing!” God is healing our past wounds . . . breaking down strongholds . . . shining light into our darkness.
In all my years as a pastor, perhaps the greatest “new thing” I have seen God consistently doing in our lives is giving us a renewed, living hope . . . even when things seem utterly hopeless. That is the picture of rivers in the desert. God does what is impossible with man.
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. God is in the business of always doing a new thing!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!