As we look forward to God’s plans for the new year, I like to focus on the following verses. They have always provided me with great hope:
“This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, ‘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 wilderness and streams in the wasteland.'” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
We all talk in the new year about resolutions—hopes, dreams, and goals—things we loved about the past year, things we want to change, want to be different. And each year, looking back, we think how fast it has gone. We think about the unexpected changes it brought us and in ways that it surprised us.
Or disappointed us. It can be easy to dwell on the negative things, and let these things of the past bring us down.
But the new year brings a new, clean slate, a turning with hope to what the future may bring. It’s faith in the One who holds our lives in his hands that makes this hope a real and powerful part of our lives—more than just wishful thinking or “I hope so,” but truth to build our future on, knowing that whatever comes, God will still be in charge.
So let this year be the year of change. Let’s commit ourselves to another year of love and hope, letting our hearts and minds be full of dreams and plans bigger than ourselves. Whatever the past year has brought, we need not be hindered by anything that might threaten to weigh us down with doubt or darkness.
Let’s forget what is behind us, as Paul says in Philippians: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
As believers, we have the greatest confidence in the world for a bright, hopeful, and joy-filled future. That’s what gives us the assurance to forget about the past — not the good things of the past, but the things that tend to bring us down and fill us with doubt and fear.
Looking forward to seeing you in the new year—Sunday, 8 January!
In Christ’s love,
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