“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)
Many people take advantage of the New Year by cleaning out their closets of old and unused clothes. Sometimes it is hard to part with some of those items, but a person needs to determine to get rid of the old and make way for some new clothing in his/her wardrobe.
We are told to look ahead to each new day with a fresh hope in what we can accomplish. In God’s Word, we see God as a “Now God”. He is always doing a new thing. He says His mercies are new and fresh every morning. He says His grace is sufficient for this day. We can see that nothing is stale and nothing is stagnant in God’s Kingdom. He gave fresh manna daily for the people on their journey in the wilderness. We can trust Him to give us what we need each day and look forward to living one day at a time. Old things have passed away. God is ready to make all things new.
In the New Year, I want to press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, not looking back to what I did not get done. I like to reflect on what I did accomplish for God’s Kingdom and then move toward what I can do in this year.
I have seen people live in their pasts and that leaves them in dark and lonely places. There is no life in the sea of regrets and hurts. That is a place of hopelessness and despair. Why stay there? We need a new mindset: we are no longer victims of our past circumstances. They will not rule our lives. We are more than survivors – we are conquerors.
We must determine to resist being pulled back or pulled down with the realization that we can’t change the past. We can and do have the opportunity to live out today and our tomorrows trusting God to bless those efforts. Today could be the dawning of grand and glorious days for you. Purpose in your heart to move forward and leave last year behind you. This new year can and will be great. Put on the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Think about taking the old clothes out of the closet and making room for the new ones. You will have to agree that a garment of praise (for the good of last year and the great of this year) instead of a garment of heaviness (for what you didn’t do last year) is a great exchange.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (for God’s children) and the day of vengeance of our God (for those rejecting God) to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:1-3a
*We need to believe God is sending us into the New Year with His anointing. We can expect God’s favor in this year. And with Paul the Apostle should say: “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Philippians 3:13). Like cleaning out our closet of old garments so we can wear new garments – let’s take off the garment of despair and put on the garment of praise. It’s a great way to enter this New Year of promise – this New Year of opportunity – this New Year of bringing glory to God. Even if we blow it or face difficulty we have God’s promise, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) So “let us throw off everything that hinders (even past mistakes)…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. (Hebrews 12:1b) On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!