“… though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow …” (Isaiah 1.18 KJV).
A fresh start, a new beginning, this is what God was offering the people through the prophet Isaiah. God is the God of new beginnings, of fresh starts.
On one hand the change of the calendar year is merely something arbitrary. There is nothing magical about going from 2016 to 2017. On the other hand it does symbolize something that isn’t arbitrary, the changing of days and seasons and the passing of time. These things are meant to be. They have their origin in God’s plan.
Jesus said, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6.34 NKJV). He is the one who taught us to live one day at a time. We are to let go of the past and trust God for the future. Every day is a fresh start, a new opportunity to do things differently.
The start of a new year awakens us to the gift of time. Time allows us to move on from the past. The prophet Isaiah was telling the people they didn’t have to stay the way they were. They could start over.
The Bible stories are about flawed people of faith, who over time, were changed by their relationship with God. The stories are not about perfect people who stayed the same. Instead, in the course of time, they were transformed as they walked with God, continually turning to him in faith.
God is using time to work out his plan in our lives! Don’t waste time bewailing your past sins and missed opportunities. God is to be found in the very process of acknowledging our failures and arising by faith to live a new life. Once we’ve confessed our sins we’re to let them go and move on. That’s what the life of faith looks like. Faith believes the promise of God. That’s what Isaiah was talking about in the verse above.
As you start a new year I encourage you to make plans to live differently. Believe you can live God’s way because of Christ’s power in your life. We all have areas which need improvement. As you embrace the opportunity to change, trust that God is in the process, and when you blow it, accept that you’re a work in progress. Don’t beat yourself up! Confess it to God and get back up! In time you will be a different person.
The product being produced in time is your life. You are not what you will be, and the wonderful message of the Bible is that God will finish what he’s started (Philippians 1.6). You can trust him with the New Year and with the rest of your life.
New Year’s Blessings to You!