“New Beginnings, New Mercies, New Life”, Scripture and Hope from L.Willows (a new thing, in Christ, the portion of Love)

As we look towards Spring 2021, my heart is filled with the hope of new beginnings. Life is filled with gratitude for God’s countless mercies, and as I look about- though I cannot escape that there is still much that grieves God’s Heart and needs to affect our own, there is a good and secure place to stand and say, “I am ready, life is about to be new.”

I am not, hopefully we are not who we were a year ago and I don’t want to go back. Lord, show us how to walk forward as a changed people, walking forward into the new time, with a new beginning that You are lovingly calling us into.

That may look like a challenge but after a time of rest or recovery, God will ask us not to dwell on the past. (Isaiah 43:18-19) He will ask us to do a new thing in His Name. His Holy Spirit will be calling us forward. We are being called into a new season, a new time. (1 Peter 1:3) God’s mercy has been with us even when we were tempted to lose heart. But we remember to that the Lord is our portion and His faithfulness never ends. (Lamentation 3:22-24).

Journeying under the banner of Christ’s Love and Power gives the ability to endure any wilderness and any trial because He is the one that walks before us. He secures the next steps, He directs our path and sees what we cannot know.

The illusion of control and desires for personal glory are set aside. They cannot exist in the same portion as Love. A portion is a space that is emptied and ready to be filled by God’s love and grace. His Spirit pours in generously. We become new and the old is gone. We are born into His Love and His Spirit. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 43:18-19
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.

Lamentations 3:22-24
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. God is making all things new.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Philippians 3:13-14
Brothers and sisters, 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,I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Revelation 21:1-3
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

Revelation 21:4-5
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

“Forward to The New”, the timeless wisdom of Isaiah 43 from David Guzik (Walking in The Spirit, Trusting God)

The prompting to renew at this time of year is a heart-full calling. Isaiah wrote with wisdom and insight about how to move ahead without the mire of the past burdening the present. He implores an unencumbered heart and mind to join The Spirit’s step to glorious freedom, the one chosen by God. 

This is a pearl of wisdom for us each every day, every year.

Study Guide for Isaiah 43:18-21 by David Guzik

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” Isaiah 43:18-21

a. Do not remember the former things: As Isaiah writes prophetically to Israel, they were mired in the desperate circumstances of captivity and exile. God wants to put their eyes on the new work He will do, so it begins with a reminder to not remember the former things. If they are stuck in the failure and sin and discouragement of the past, they will never go forward to the new thing God has for them.

i. –It is a fascinating – and instructive – switch between Isaiah 43:16-17 and Isaiah 43:18. In Isaiah 43:16-17, Israel is told to look to the past by remembering the great things God did for them at the Red Sea. But in Isaiah 43:18, they are told, Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.

This shows us that there is a sense in which we must remember the past, in terms of God’s great work on our behalf. There is also a sense in which we must forsake and forget the past, with all its discouragement and defeat, and move on to what God has for us in the future.

b. Behold, I will do a new thing: Staying stuck in the past can keep us from the new thing God wants to do. If Israel stayed stuck in the discouragement and seduction of Babylon, they would never look for the new thing of release from exile.

i. —We can make an idol out of the “new.” We can error as the people of Athens did who spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing (Acts 17:21). We can be tossed about by every wind of doctrine. But we can also error on the other side of the balance, and work against the new thing God wants to do.

ii.– Shall you not know it? God asks the same question today. “Will you stay in step with My Spirit? When He leads into something new, shall you not know it?”

c. I will even make a road in the wilderness: Between the captivity in Babylon and the return to Israel lay hundreds of miles of wilderness. God’s people didn’t need to be afraid, because God would make a road in the wilderness, provide rivers in the desert, and even protect His people from animals, because the beast of the field will honor Me, the LORD says.

i. –Often, when God makes a promise, we worry about the details or the obstacles for the fulfillment of the promise. God replies to us, “Don’t worry about it at all. I will even make a road in the wilderness. I have resources and plans you don’t know about. Leave those problems to Me.”

d. They shall declare My praise: This is part of fulfilling the purpose God created us for, as mentioned in Isaiah 43:7 (Whom I created for My glory). When we declare our praise for God, we are giving Him glory, and fulfilling one of the purposes we were created for.

David Guzik

David Guzik ~ Blue Letter Bible, Isaiah 43