“I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King. Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will make even a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:15, 18-19 (NASB)
Each New Year enters with the spirit of a new beginning. Regardless of the accomplishments or failures of the past year, the New Year is a challenge within itself to every person. The New Year is pictured as a baby to depict to the world unlimited potentialities.
I have no idea at what time of the year Isaiah wrote the above words, but it could easily have been a New Year’s message to the nation. He tells them to forget the past. I’m sure he did not mean for them to completely wipe out of their memory all the experiences of the past. I believe he meant for them to focus their attention on the things that lay ahead. This nation to which Isaiah was writing had experienced both failures and glories, but he was inspired by God to tell them that the past glories were not sufficient for their accomplishments in the future any more than past failures meant future defeat. Turn your page on the past, and face the future with vision.
Isaiah gives to all Christians a pattern for facing the future. He formulates a plan that includes all of the teachings of Christ. It is so simple; yet, how often we stumble over the simplicity of the Master’s teachings.
Isaiah tells us to put the rightful One in charge of our life. If all Christians would do this, how much easier it would be to bring the Kingdom of God on earth. When a person is going to take an auto trip, he wants his car to be in excellent condition. Regardless of how beautiful the body of the car is or how good the condition of the engine, it will not accomplish its purpose unless all parts are perfectly co-ordinated. This is true in a Christian’s life. When I see a Christian who is aimless in his work, discontented with his church, or “soured by the world,” there immediately comes to my mind the thought that he needs the Master Mechanic to overhaul his life. Things need to be put in their rightful place and the Lord should be his King.
When this part of our plan is in order, then we are looking in the right direction. We will be able to do new things. All young Christians, although they are mature in mind, are only babes in Christ and will have to learn many new things. One of the most interesting experiences I have ever had was to be the teacher of a young couples class and to observe these young Christians learning to do new things for the Master. The average Christian’s assets are reasonable intelligence, wholesome ambition, inherent honesty and truthfulness, and the desire to become a better Christian; but, when they are approached about doing things they have never done before, they immediately begin to minimize their abilities. It takes patience and understanding from older Christians to help younger Christians realize that God can help them do new things…
The next thing Isaiah tells us is that we will be able to make a way in the wilderness. This brings to mind the ability to overcome almost unsurmountable difficulties. Too many Christians face difficulties in their own strength, leaving God out entirely. A friend of mine felt that the Lord wanted him to preach but he had a definite stoppage in his speech. For several years he was certain he had misunderstood the Lord’s call, his reason being from a human standpoint. He was miserable and unhappy. In his heart he wanted to do what the Lord wanted him to do, but he could not see any solution to a problem as big as his. Finally, he came to the conclusion that he would completely surrender his will and do his best, even if it meant suffering the embarrassment of his speech impediment. The first time I heard him preach I had great sympathy for him. I must admit that I had my doubts of his ability to ever become a successful preacher.
It was several years before I heard him again. When I did, I was amazed. He talked more slowly, but not one time did he have to completely stop his message. Later I talked to him about how he had overcome his handicap. He said that by following the instructions of his teachers outside the pulpit and following God’s instructions in the pulpit he was able to “deliver the goods.” This young man is an example of how the Lord can “make a way in the wilderness” by giving a person the ability to overcome staggering difficulties.
Never let any liability stand in your way of serving the Lord, because, if the call is from God, He will give you an asset to overcome any liability…
Isaiah saw multiple visions and yearned in his heart for people to put God as the leader of their life, then He could show them that He “will even make a roadway in the wilderness,” and “rivers in the desert. Myra Daugherty
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
“Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, ‘You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord.’ But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne; or by the earth, because it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:33-48 (HCSB)
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NASB)
“Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain, uneasiness, temptation, darkness, and desolation, with both hands, as a true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self, and entering into a fuller fellowship with thy self-denying, suffering Saviour. Look at no inward or outward trouble in any other view; reject every other thought about it; and then every kind of trial and distress will become the blessed day of thy prosperity. That state is best, which exerciseth the highest faith in, and fullest resignation to God.” William Law
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, And You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.” 1 Chron. 29:11-13
“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 (NASB)
Fanny Crosby became ill when she was only six weeks old. The family doctor was out of town and another man (a quack pretending to be a doctor) was called in to treat young Fanny. He prescribed hot mustard poultices be applied to her eyes and the treatment left her blind.
As she grew into childhood and adulthood, she refused to be pitied. She lived a useful life.
When she was only eight years old, she wrote these words:
“Oh, what a happy soul am I
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t,
To weep and sigh because I’m blind
I cannot, and I won’t.”
There are many who have perfect eyesight, and yet are unable to see. All of us have more than we deserve, yet we fail to see the blessings we receive from God. We fail to count our blessings. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” James 1:17 (NASB) — yet we seldom offer prayers of gratitude.
With confidence, Fanny Crosby wrote the song, “All The Way My Saviour leads Me”…
“All the way my Saviour leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell.
For I know what e’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
All the way my Saviour leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! a spring of joy I see.
All the way my Saviour leads me;
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song thro’ endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.
Shouldn’t we have that confidence?
No matter what happens in life we can cast our burdens upon Him, because Jesus doeth all things well.
Two inspiring videos featuring legendary songwriter Ed Bruce.
Jesus Loved The Hell Out Of Me – http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=9JC9FJNU
I Know – http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=9JC99MNU
“You have heard it was said: ‘Don’t commit adultery.’ But I tell you, anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose a part of your body than to have all of it thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose a part of your body than to have all of it go to hell.
It was said: ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a divorce paper.’ But I tell you, anyone who divorces his wife, except for her being sexually unfaithful, makes her a partner in adultery. And also the man who marries the divorced woman is living in adultery.”
Matthew 5:27-32 (Beck)
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a Roman Catholic Nun and Nobel Peace Prize winner. She was a very wise and caring lady.
Quoted in Worldwide Laws Of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles by John Templeton…
“Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
Quoted in Love, A Fruit Always In Season: Daily Meditations from The Words Of Mother Teresa Of Calcutta…
“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set. Everyone can reach this love through meditation, spirit of prayer, and sacrifice, by an intense inner life.”
Quote from a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C….
“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?…By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter will pass from the Law until all things are accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not murder,’ and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin, But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire.
So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I assure you: You will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny.”
Matthew 5:17-26 (HCSB)