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.
Isaiah 43: 18-19
It’s no secret, 2015 was a fairly terrible year for most. I’ve heard it from friends and family, even from mere acquaintances. I’ve read it in other blogger’s posts. And personally, this year has been one of my lowest. Most especially in my walk with God. It was about half-way through the year when I lost my way in 2015, when I turned my eyes away from the source of my hope and joy.
You see, it’s so easy for us to slip and lose our way. Whether you pledged to stick to a healthy diet all year, a consistent exercise routine, or told yourself you would devote yourself to daily devotion routine for the year, I’m sure we’ve all experienced a time where we lost sight of these visions that we made for ourselves at the beginning of the year.
2015 has been challenging, that much is true. I’m sure almost all of us went through some low times, or went through some severe storms. But there’s a lesson to be found in the year that has just passed us, I have realised: We have to go through our lowest to experience the highest of highs.
God has a plan for each and every one of our lives – he’s put us through horrible times in 2015, because he knows that there are amazing things to come in this new year of 2016. And you know what? This new year might still be slightly rocky, but take a look at the verse at the beginning of this post: “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.”
Forget the former things
God tells us that we should ‘forget the former things’ – so while 2015 was hard, tragedies may have befallen you, or you might have just struggled in some way or another: lost a loved one, pushed through a financial or personal struggle. But God says to let this go. Leave it in the year that has passed. Let yourself free of any remaining chains and start off with a clean slate. Sometimes it’s hard to do this, especially when what you’ve gone through has been hard.
Just the other day, I had a bout of anxiety and hopelessness, something that I hadn’t felt for a long while since I recovered at the end of this year. I was so sure I was about to fall back into my old problem – but here’s where I thought to myself: No. This is something that I will leave in 2015. This leads me to my next point.
It’s time to re-focus
Commitment is hard – many of us start off the year telling ourselves we will live for God, and I must admit, even I failed to do this 100% throughout the year. But God is doing a new thing in 2016, and that means we must fix our gaze back on him with not just our eyes, but our entire spirit and heart. For the past three days since the new year has begun, all that had been running through my head is: this is the year where you’ve got to let go and let God. This is the year where you put all your focus on Him and Him only.
Some of you may be sitting in a wasteland. Some of you may be finding yourself lost in the wilderness. But know this: 2016 is a year for new things. For greater things. The hardships of 2015 are over and have paved the path of all new and exciting things to come, but above all we need a re-focus. We need a revival in our faith, in our spirits.
“Just when my hallelujah was tired, you gave me a new song.”
Personally, I want this to be the year that I put my everything in God. With everything I do, Jesus will be the centre of it all – just telling myself this gives me the greatest boost of confidence. Sometimes that’s what we need: to tell ourselves that we will live for God this year. To tell ourselves that we will live by faith and not by sight – let us not look to the outcomes of any of our circumstances this year; instead, let us look to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and put our faith and trust wholly in him this year.