And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
At the start of the new year, I received several New Year’s greetings, a few of which highlighted this portion of scripture. To be honest, last week when I wrote my post, I did start my post with this verse expecting it to guide what I wanted to write. But, somehow, it didn’t quite work out that way and the idea for that post took a different turn. This week, however, I feel the need to come right back to these verses. God is doing a new thing… But what if, sometimes, everything still looks the same? What if the new that you may have anticipated doesn’t quite seem to look “new?”
As I read these verses again, something caught my attention. The first line says: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” I realized that I have an important part to play in this – I have to choose to forget, I have to choose not to dwell on the past. The word “consider” shouts this loud and clear. The word “consider” means to think carefully about, to think about and be drawn towards (a course of action), to look attentively at. Synonyms include: reflect, ponder, study, believe. This word carries a lot of heavy meaning and to me, it gives us an idea as to why it can be so difficult to move forward into something new. Now mind you, your circumstances, situation may not be showing any change at all, so maybe the new thing has to begin with me and in me. You can’t force people, circumstances, situations to change but maybe you can focus instead on changing you.
I think this is where leaning on what God says about us comes into play. For several months God has been redirecting my thoughts and my focus to Him and to what He says about me. I guess when you are so focused on your perception of yourself and on other people’s perception of you, your vision of who God says you are becomes clouded. The Bible says: As a man thinketh in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). How you view you and your situation will most likely guide your actions, your attitude, even your very life!
The brief account of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4 tells us that we can be a part of the positive change. Jabez’ mother called him Jabez because she gave birth to him in sorrow (1 Chronicles 4:9). Jabez, however, chose not to let that negative guide or control his life. He cried out to God and asked Him to bless him and enlarge his borders. He asked that God’s hand would be with him and that He would keep him from evil. God granted him his request (v.10). He chose not to dwell on his painful birth which caused his mother to give him a name that would be a reminder of that negative past. He chose to have a positive and bright future. He chose to forget that past and his mother’s perception of it and he chose to create a new and improved future for himself. The first thing he did was change his mindset, the second thing he did was enlist God’s help to bring it to pass.
What mindsets do we need to change? What negatives of last year and years gone by do we need to take our eyes off of? What negatives of five minutes ago do we need to choose not to remember? God is ready and waiting but we need to work with Him instead of against Him. He is ready to make all things new but are we ready and willing to let go of the negatives of the past that we cannot change and allow Him to do the new thing? The choice is really ours. God could be presenting something new to us, even right under our nose, but we can’t see it because of where our focus is.
So, maybe for this new year, we need to let go of those things which are behind and press towards what lies ahead. And you don’t have to let go on your own. Ask God for His help. Confess those things that you find so difficult to let go of and let Him help you release them. If you don’t have a relationship with Him, ask Him to come into your life through His Son Jesus and help create that new and improved life you so desperately want. That’s what our God is there for, to be a present help when we need it.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.