Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

This morning I'm going to share one of the devotionals from my book, Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World.
Isaiah 43:18-19 ~

"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."

How many of us spend minutes, hours and days dwelling on the past?  How many of us wish we had never said something or some event had never happened?  I know that I tend to do this a lot.  I lie awake at night thinking that I should have done this differently or said that a different way.

Yet, God doesn't stay stuck in the past.  He doesn't keep mulling over our failures.  He doesn't keep a record of our sins.

He is the God of the present and the future.  He moves on.  He is the God of newness.  I love these verses in Isaiah.  God is blazing a path for us in the wild happenings of our lives.  He is providing refreshment for us in the dryness  and staleness of our day to day living.  He wants us to keep moving forward and not to be stuck in the past.

This applies to our failures and mistakes, but also can apply to our desire to keep things the way they've always been.  It happens in families.  It happens at our job.  It happens in the church.  People don't like change.  They are nostalgic.  They are stuck in the past.  And yet, God is not static.  He is the God of movement. God's character does not change, but He mostly certainly is not focused on the past.

My challenge to you in 2016 is to focus ahead.  Ask yourself, "What does God want me to learn in the new year?"  "Where does He want me to go?"  "How can I be available to Him?"  "What does God want me to glean from this trial this year?"  

Don't stay focused on the past.  Look ahead.  Be prepared to follow God through the desert and along the paths in the wilderness, knowing that He is leading you.