Let Go of the Old and Embrace God's New
“But forget all that — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” Isaiah 43:18-19a (NLT)
It had been months since my 25-year marriage abruptly ended, and the emotional devastation was overwhelming. It felt like a tsunami had slammed into my reality and nothing seemed the same.
As I waded through each painful day, facing challenges around every corner, everything felt unfamiliar and new — and not a good type of new. In fact, I felt like I was sinking under the weight of toxic emotions and the heaviness of all the “new” pulling me under.
The day came when I caved under the weight of it all, feeling completely broken, weak and incredibly alone. But as I called out to God for comfort with tears streaming down my face, I suddenly sensed I wasn’t alone at all. Peacefully, His presence floated gently into mine, and a beautiful passage suddenly came to mind from the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 43:18 begins by saying, “But forget all that — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.” The Israelites were stuck in the past, remembering their former captivity and the miracles God had done, yet fearing the new freedom they now lived in. In Isaiah 43:19a, we see Him telling them why to stop looking back and longing for what was gone: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?”
Here, the Lord encourages His people to let go of the old and embrace the new, even though this new seemed scary and unfamiliar. He wanted them to open their eyes to see He was still at work and still sovereign. By keeping their eyes focused on the past, they were blinded to the good new things He was doing.
God knew this habit of sinking in negative thoughts and feelings about the past, present or future was standing in the way of them embracing the new with a positive mindset — especially if they had no idea what that new was going to look like.
As I pondered this verse, I sensed He was giving me permission to stop mourning the past and embrace the new with a heart full of faith and a mind full of optimism. I couldn’t change my circumstances, but I could change my thoughts about them.
As you enter this new year, maybe like me, you’re also entering an unfamiliar season of new in some way. We all experience new seasons of life from time to time, with some being positive and some negative; some wanted, and some unwanted; some exciting and some terrifying.
But regardless of the new that lies before us, how we choose to look at and think about those seasons of newness will determine whether or not we walk through them with peace, hope and joy, or with heartache, anxiety and fear.
When we intentionally choose to believe God’s new is always good — even if we didn’t ask for it, want it or understand it — we can step into the new with courage, bravery, a positive attitude and an unsinkable faith. Letting go of the old frees up our hearts to embrace God’s new for us.
Dear Jesus, I’m in a scary season of “new,” and at times, I wish I could change things. Help me stay tied to You as my anchor, rather than tying myself to negativity and fear which can gradually sink me and my faith. Help me trust in Your ways and Your good with my whole heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Deuteronomy 31:8, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (NLT)
Isaiah 43:19b, “I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (NLT)
If you’re facing a new season of life and often feel like negative thoughts are weighing you down and holding you back, consider purchasing Tracie Miles’ book, Unsinkable Faith:God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What have you anchored your thoughts to — God, or your problems and emotions? Which circumstances can you start thinking differently about today, so God can begin transforming your feelings and the way you live out everyday life?
What are you tempted to use as a substitute for Jesus in your life? Pray and ask God to help you become anchored in Him, knowing that true joy only comes from a relationship with Jesus.