“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. (Isa 43:18-19 NIV)
Choosing to remain a victim or a victor is a choice of mindset, beliefs, and actions. Even though I spent thirty years in three abusive marriages, I didn’t see myself as a victim. I saw myself faced with difficult circumstances.
I kept asking God to help me and my spouse work things out through my faith. My mindset kept me looking and going forward with hope in the middle of my abuse. Over time, God showed me that each of us has the choice to walk with Jesus or to live our life in our own flawed wisdom and strength. As I began to study God’s word, He revealed how he could give me a new start from the ashes and pain of my divorce.
3 Aspects to a New Start
- God tells us to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” He instructs us to abandon our former self-focused mindset, beliefs, and actions that are not in alignment with his word, his heart, his character, and his love, which includes respect. When we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, our spirit comes to life immediately. However, we are not filled with all of God’s truth, wisdom, and the mature fruits of the Holy Spirit. We are responsible for learning how to live as a disciple of Jesus and follow his heart, his character, and his ways as we mature in our faith journey. Only when we truly follow Christ will we truly be healed and forget to operate and dwell in our past pain, mindset, words, and behaviors. Our close progressive relationship with Jesus helps us live as a “New creation in Christ.” (2 Cor 5:17 NIV)
- To see or even believe God is doing a new thing in our lives, especially in the middle of our pain, we must understand how to live out our faith. Living out our faith has three aspects: believe, receive, and live it out in our lives. We must believe Jesus is the Son of God, our only Savior, and he paid the penalty for our sins. We must receive the truth of God as we study the Bible and let the Holy Spirit teach us. We must live as a disciple of Christ, which means our lives look like the heart, character, words, and actions of Jesus. As we are transformed into the likeness of Christ, we will, “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.”
- Every new start comes from an ending. When you find yourself in a challenging and painful place, look for the new beginning God has planned for you. Even Jesus endured testing and trials on this broken earth to learn and to grow his trust in God in his human condition because he was fully man and God. We will do the same to learn and grow. Jesus told us, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV) When you are in a difficult place or an ending, look for the lesson and grow as you anticipate a new start. Remember, Jesus had to die to be resurrected, and the same new beginning is true for you.
God’s Great Plans for You
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer 29:11 NIV)
When you choose to be a Christian or a Christ-follower, you are choosing to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. This means you will learn and study under him. As your relationship grows close and deep, you will be transformed into his likeness of heart, character, words, attitudes, mindset, and actions. Your life will be full of his love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. All of these aspects of Christ are in God’s plans to prosper you and to give you hope and a future.
As a disciple of Christ, you live in a new start of his grace and mercy every day! When you wake up to a new day, thank Jesus for being your Savior and ask him to guide you to encounter the people and the circumstances you will face. In the hard times, count on him to lead you through your difficult circumstances to a new start!