We did it.
We closed the books on 2017 and unwrapped a brand new year.
With it, we anticipate new opportunities…and yet are sober (or experienced) enough to realize that we might face some new challenges.
The idea of newness is close to God’s heart.
In Lamentations 3:22-23, Jeremiah wrote out these words:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
This verse was written at a time when the people of God were dearly paying the price for their sinfulness and disobedience to God.
But the author, Jeremiah realized that if a person, or a nation, would return to the ways of the Lord, they would discover fresh doses of God’s grace, compassion and mercy.
What a great encouragement to know that God is the God of the second (and third and fourth) chance!
The reality is God is steadfast and stable, always ready to bless a heart that turns towards Him.
This goes along with another verse that reminds us God’s passion to see new things occur:
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
When God is going about the business of “new,” He always seeks to make things better.
His desire is to pull us away from the barren wilderness and lead us to places that will restore and refresh us.
Another verse that speaks about newness is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
This verse describes the fact the God is in the business of regeneration.
He infuses life where there was once only death.
When a person makes a decision for Jesus, their position before God changes. God views them differently:
- Where they once were stained by sin, God now views them as righteous. (2 Cor. 5:21).
- Where they once were condemned, God now sees them as free. (Romans 8:1).
- Where they once were viewed as an enemy, God now calls them one his children (Romans 9:8).
At the moment of belief, and in the amount of time it takes an eye to twinkle, our status before God completely transformed.
The other aspect of this newness is that as we continue to grow as a believer, we will see new attitudes and actions informing our life.
Over time, we will be able to say something like, “I once was, but now I am…”
This only happens because of the regenerating work God does in us.
As we enter a new year, this question rumbles through my mind: how much of the new God offers us will we experience?
If making things new is God’s primary business, are we aligning our lives to receive all the new things He has to offer us?