By Mark Hayes, President of Ministry
Ski instructors strongly advise new skiers to be aware of what is ahead of them instead of worrying about people behind them. If a new skier focuses too much on what is happening behind him or her, he or she may stumble into something in his or her path, or worse, come to a painful stop at the base of a tree. Although we have experienced a challenging 2020, to say the least, dwelling on the past will put a damper on our faith in God’s promises for our future.
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)
This promise was magnificently larger than promising a happy new year. He promised a happy new life. The circumstances of Isaiah’s audience were desolate and scary. They were away from their homes, living in captivity. God promised them something new. It went beyond their circumstances in life, beyond their physical captivity, and reached toward eternity. Jesus would come to Earth and be shattered by his Father to heal our brokenness. Healing our relationship with God is a promise that surpasses healing from a pandemic, repairing financial ruin, or getting things back to normal where we live. It gives us security regardless of our struggles in life.
The next year will be better, regardless of circumstances, when we cling to the One who promises to forgive us, love us, hold us, and stay by our side. He makes a way for us in the desert of depression and provides a stream in the wasteland of fear. We will ultimately experience this when we close our eyes and wake up by our Savior’s side in heaven, but our confidence in that future will grow along the way. The more we look ahead in faith, the less we will worry about the past and present.
Prayer: Dear Father, teach us to pray big. Extend the vision of our faith beyond what we experience around us, and prepare us for our final home in heaven. Plant your promises in our hearts to get us through the struggles that we face today, and bless us richly. Amen.