“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
This is one of my favorite verses in the book of Isaiah. The promise of 43:19 must have reminded Isaiah’s Jewish readers who were captives in Babylon of the exodus from Egypt, when God saved their forefathers from bondage and led them through the Red Sea and the “wilderness.” But this exodus from Babylon would be even better because it would restore the Jews to their homeland from which they had been expelled because of their sins. “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” implies that even though the trip from Babylon back to Israel would lead through treacherous territory, God would go ahead of His people and make a way.
The Lord is reassuring us that He will do a “new thing” which shall “spring forth” unexpectedly like a sprout in dry soil. He wants to make a road in “the wilderness” of our wanderings and turn the “desert” of our spiritual dryness into “rivers” of life.
Are we convinced that our past sins are preventing us from moving forward into the new year? Do we feel dried up spiritually and that God has given up on us? Are there obstacles in our lives that seem impossible to overcome? Do not give up. God promises to do something new in our lives! God can make a way where there seems to be no way.
As we begin this new year, let’s remember that “the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deut. 31:8). None of us will truly be alone in 2024. There is no place we can go in this new year where God is not already there. He “goes before” us. And not only that, “He will be with” us. While that may sound too good to be true, He also promises He will never abandon (“leave”) us nor reject (“forsake”) us. So, we do not need to live in “fear” or discouragement (“dismayed”) because our great and gracious God goes before us, is with us, and guarantees never to abandon or reject us. No matter how inadequate we may feel, God is always more than adequate for anything we may face.
I wonder what may be in our lives that simply cannot co-exist with the new thing that God wants to do? Are we willing to approach God in faith and pray to Him, “Lord, I don’t know what’s going to happen in this new year – but I want to join You in the new thing You are doing!”?
Prayer: Father God, thank You for a new year that is set before us. Please help us open our hearts in faith to the new thing You are wanting to do in our lives. Show us if there is anything in our lives that cannot co-exist with the new thing You are wanting to do in and through us so we can release it to You. Some of us may feel stuck in our Christian lives. We may feel lost wandering through life without any purpose or direction. Others of us may be spiritually dried up and in need of refreshment from Your rivers of life. Please make a way where there seems to be no way. Lord, we are encouraged by Your promise to go before us. There is no place we can go this new year where You are not already there preparing the way for us to go. Thank You for guaranteeing that we will never be alone in this new year because You are with us, and You promise never to abandon us or reject us. Thank You Father for this reassurance which bolsters our faith and diminishes our fears. In the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.