“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”? (Isaiah 43)
As I write, the world is in chaos. Our government is divided. Our culture is in ethical and moral collapse. The church in America seems weak and unable to change much of the circumstances around it. It is easy to become discouraged, cynical and withdrawn from “the fight.”
But in this Isaiah passage, God tells us that we should not long for the “good old days,” because our best years are still ahead of us. We can’t speak about the future of the world’s situation or even about the future of our own country with much degree of certainty. Those things remain in God’s hands and under His sovereign control. What we can speak about with certainty is the future of the people of God and the survival and success of His body, the Church.
God is in charge of history. He owns it. He controls its destiny. All things will end up as He intends at the time He intends. And His promise in the midst of all the other calamity and uncertainty around us is that we, His people, have a bright and positive — even glorious — future. We need not pine away for good days gone by, but recognize that our very best and most joyful days are still coming. God is doing a new thing in 2019. It may look a little scary on the surface, but we know that our God is in charge and promises to prosper and bless us in our commitment and work for Him and His Gospel.
We need to be praying for our world, country, and culture. We need to do godly things in godly ways to help where we can to make things better. But, we should never despair for the future or long for the past. Our Savior is doing “a new thing.” We should move and work with a sense of excitement and expectancy for what these “new things” are, and how we can help the Lord do His work here.
Changes and conflicts are inevitable, but, how exciting to be traveling with the Lord as our guide, protector, and sovereign of the universe!
Barry Johnson ministers at New Song Bible Church. He can be reached at newsongbiblechurch.com; 470250 Highway 95, Sagle; or 208-265-2553.