The God of New Beginnings
1 Jan 2018
As we begin 2018, I am reminded of just how good our God is. He created our universe in such a way that we have constant opportunities to start again. Every twenty-four hours we have a brand-new day to be lived. We experience the uniqueness of each new season, where our routines need to adapt and change. And most notably, there is the emotion-loaded excitement of a new year. There is no subtlety here, God wants us to live lives that are unhindered by what has gone on in the past.
Fresh starts! God knows we need them. He sees our pain, our troubles, our grief and our broken relationships. He knows about our terrible mistakes that have caused havoc in our own lives, as well as the lives of others. Through his death for us, Jesus made it possible for us to have our slate wiped clean. He not only forgives and forgets, he makes things new.
A close friend of mine has had a long-standing drinking problem, causing many other problems in his life and relationships. His life had become a tangled and knotted up mess, way beyond anything he could unravel. He had certainly tried to sort himself out, but had only made things worse. But God! God is an expert at this stuff. My friend reached a breaking point, and began to cry out to God to rescue him. At 4am one morning he felt a tap on his shoulder, and heard a voice say: You are free. The hand of God. The voice of God. That was just over nine months ago. He has not had an alcoholic drink since that moment. In fact, he has no desire to drink. Along with his friends and family, I have had the joy of seeing his amazing transformation taking place. We would describe him as happy, kind, funny, peaceful, capable, content. He looks healthy and young. These are not the words we would have used to describe him one year ago. How good is our God!
We all have an opportunity to start this new year with a spring in our step. If we have regrets, heavy weights or rubbish in our lives right now, God is more than able to take all that away. He has new things in store for us, so be encouraged.
‘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).
If you have experienced one of God’s new beginnings yourself, don’t keep it a secret. There are so many people that need to know that they can have a new beginning this year too.