Can You Dare to Hope in the New Year?

4:33 PMHeather

I have seen the following passage approximately 3,497 times in the last three days.  I may or may not be slightly exaggerating.  I have even included it on this blog in the last couple of days.  But because it is stalking me endlessly, we will hang out here today to consider it.  So lean in and listen.  To all that God wants to tell you.

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 desert, and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19

"Forget the former things."
Don't waste another second reliving the disappointments and frustrations from before.  None of it--give none of it another thought.  The pains and wounds and criticisms of others.  The mistakes and failures and "should have dones" or "should have beens."  The unfulfilled hopes of the past--the dreams deferred.  FORGET THEM.

"Do not dwell on the past."
Shut the door on it.  No -- actually -- slam the door on it.  And refuse to give it any more life.  It's over.  It's behind you -- don't step backwards.  Don't live in regrets or what has happened before.  Or what has not happened before.  If it came to PASS, then let it go.  Do not let your mind rest on any of it.  Just choose to train your thoughts to turn forward -- your emotions will follow suit.  Cut the ropes of all that has been, lest it hold you back and bind you from what can be.

"See, I am doing a new thing!"
New-- of a kind now existing or appearing for the FIRST TIME

New things are My specialty.  I can never be defined or assigned to how things have always been.  I'm bigger than that.  Not only that -- but My new things will blow your best hope out of the water.  Because I am the God who does immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine.  Your best hopes for relationships?  Put Me first -- your heart will soar to heights never imagined.  Your best hopes for your job or home or finances?  Surrender it all to Me.  ALL. And find that when you make My desires your desires, you are never put to shame.  I have plans that no man can conceive.  Plans beyond the best that this world can offer.  This is not your home.  Keep the bigger picture.  And say a resounding YES to any new thing I am doing.  And remember...

...I spoke all that is into existence with the sound of My voice--a new creation.

...I directed a faithful Noah to prepare for a flood -- when it had never before rained.

...I brought Isaac to an elderly couple.  A son whose descendents do indeed fill the earth.

...I wove the bitter circumstances of the betrayal and imprisonment of Joseph to elevate him to a position to save his family -- and his people.

...I delivered My people from captivity through plagues never before seen, through an ocean that had never before parted.  I make a way -- where there is no way.

...I brought water, food and provision to my wandering people.  Directing them always, caring for all their needs -- even in a desert.

...I made the fortified walls of a city crumble with shouts and trumpet sounds.

...I made a giant fall through a stone and slingshot of a young and faithful boy.

...I brought victory to Gideon and his outnumbered army.  Because nothing and no one is bigger than Me.

...I closed the mouths of lions, refusing to allow My faithful servant to be devoured by the wicked schemes of a lowly king.

...I brought three teenage boys out of a raging fire -- and they didn't even smell like smoke.

...I opened Job's eyes to SEE what he had previously only heard.  And his prior losses were restored two fold.

...I secured eternal deliverance to My people through a baby because My people could never uphold the law.  So I made a new way. An everlasting way.

...I've healed the lame, the blind and the deaf.  

...I've brought life from barrenness and even death.  I resurrect that which seems dead.

..I've conquered sin and death in a resounding, never ending victory.

SO, if you are unsure... you can rest assured.  I am always doing a new thing.

"Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
Even now.  What you cannot yet see or perceive or dare to believe.  What you are waiting for.  Seemingly endlessly waiting...I am springing up.  I act on behalf of those who wait for Me.  While you are, in fact, still asking, I am already hearing (Isaiah 62:45).  You feel passive.  But I am acting.  I declare new things before they spring into being (Isaiah 42:9).  I work all things for your good.  I turn wailing into dancing.  I redeem the hard places of My people. I, in fact, cause you to bring plunder from your captivity. You may not see it. You may even find it hard to believe.  In fact, doubts may plague you.  But behind the scenes -- behind the curtains, in Heavenly places -- where things are not yet revealed -- I am at work.  I am composing a new song.  I am orchestrating a new symphony.  I am writing a new chapter to a new story.  I am weaving a grand tapestry.  I AM.  And I am doing a new thing. Whether you perceive it or not.

"I am making a way in the desert."
Dry.  Thirsty.  Aimless.  Wandering.  Worn out.  Desert places feel endless.  Desert places feel like the very end, actually.  They fell like they will deplete you and devour you.  But I am making a way. Like the Israelites of old, I will provide manna.  I will lead you to deliverance.  In my way.  In my timing.  But deliverance, nonetheless.  Then, as you face impossible walls, I will cause them to crumble and make a way into freedom.  Into the Promised Land.  I do NOT leave My people in the desert.  If that were so, My Son would have never been offered.  No, dear child, I am making a way.  In your desert.  Even if the sand covers it for now and clouds your vision.  I am making a way.  Remember.  I am THE Way.  THE Truth.  THE Life.

"And streams in the wasteland."
You may thirst for more.  You may be parched from your circumstances, wanting for more than your waiting.  I am the Living Water.  The stream in your wasteland.  I am the cool, refreshing babbling brook in your desperate wastelands.  In every moment of every want.  I meet the need. 

So here you are.  Standing in the chasm of last year's disappointments and the light of a New Year.  Hope beckons you, but you hesitate.  Do you...can you -- dare to dream?

Oh yes, dear one, you can.  Because I am who I say I am.  So forget the former things.  Don't dwell on the past. Erase it all with wide and thorough sweeps. Look at the blank slate of this new day, in this new year.  And stand firmly and boldly on My promise with great courage.

I am doing a new thing. Even now, it springs up and is coming to life.  A way in your desert.  A stream in your wasteland.

Can you dare to hope in the New Year?

A thousand times YES.  Because you can pin all your hopes on God's promised new things.

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