If there’s one thing we need as we hop out of the dumpster fire of 2020 into the hope of 2021, it’s newness. New hearts. New wonder. New wineskins.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, but thank goodness we’re not. We’d stay stuck. We’d wander. We’d regress. We need someone loving to help us grow.
God knew this. In Isaiah 43—one of the Bible’s great glimpses into His heart—God said, “I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (NLT) It was a path through the wilderness. Streams in the desert. A Son who would make a way.
God is really good at doing new things. Here are 10 ways He shows us.
He gave us a new heart. I’ve had a hard heart, and maybe you have, too. But our new heart isn’t made of stone, it’s made of flesh. It’s where He wants to live and move and experience our undivided love.
He gave us a new life. Talk about hopping out of a dumpster fire. We don’t have to be greedy, irritable and living for this world anymore. We can take off our old self and put on our new self. That old life isn’t for us.
He made us a new creation. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone. The new is here.” The writer of those words, Paul, knew what it meant to need a new start. He also wrote, “inwardly we are being renewed every day.” It’s an inside job.
He gave us a new way. The old plan for people finding their way to God wasn’t working, so God gave us a new one. The plan was a person. His name is Jesus and He frees us in every way we can be free.
He gave us a new name. The most striking name change in Scripture might be a man who went from Simon to Peter, literally from “Snub-nosed” to “Rock.” Jesus will give us a new name one day, too. Here’s something pretty cool—that new name will be written on a rock.
He gave us a path out of our past. The writer of Hebrews says Jesus’ blood will clean our conscience from dead works so that we can serve the living God. We don’t have to live bound in regret. We can set that down.
He gives us fresh compassion. Need a nudge to set the regret down? God’s compassions are new every morning. Because of His love, our past doesn’t have to haunt us, and we don’t have to live ineffective, unattractive lives. His mercies are new like the sunrise.
He gave us Good News. He broke His silence. It had been 700 years since, through Isaiah, God had said, “I am about to do something new.” It had been 400 years since the last time the people had been told a Messiah would come. Finally, with shock and awe and angels terrifying shepherds in a field nearby, God tapped a teenage girl to bear the Prince of peace, our pardon for sin, our Savior and friend.
He will give us a new place—and new peace.We have a hard time forgetting things. One day it won’t be hard. “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
He is making all things new.This beautiful moment in a breathtaking passage peels back the curtain of the future. He will wipe our tears. There will be no more death or pain. The old things will be gone for good. The One sitting on the throne promised it when He said to the writer of Revelation, “Look, I make all things new.”
What comes next is what would come next for you or me, too. God had to remind the writer to write.
Maybe the writer, John, was slack-jawed. Maybe his pen fell to the ground. Maybe he fell to the ground. It’s like God had to step out of his exquisite monologue for a minute to say, “Take it down, John. Make sure you get it. It’s true and people can trust it. Share these words for all readers in all centuries who will desperately need to know that I make all things new.”
And maybe that’s where you are today.
Where do you need God’s fresh touch? Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s physical health. Maybe it’s loving God with all your mind. Maybe it’s loving others like you love yourself. Maybe it’s shaking your past loose for once and for all—for all the people in your life who need you to grow.
God turned an unimportant 8th son into a king. He turned ragtag fishermen, a political nationalist and a tax collector into a team. He turned a merciless Pharisee into an Apostle for the ages.