Summary: Using the prophesy of Isaiah, understand how God can do a "new thing" in your life regardless of your situation. Message was delivered as a capital campaign was launched for a building program.
A New Thing
Text: Isaiah 43:18 – 19
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 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.
Many of us here this morning, if we’re honest with ourselves would admit that we have
• Areas of our lives where we are dissatisfied, have no joy
• We’ve made promises that we haven’t been able to keep
• We’ve experienced failure and set backs
• We’ve not sure how we can pay today’s bills, let alone how we can contribute more to the church.
But the beauty of Isaiah’s words to us is quite simple - It’s not over until God says it’s over. God is more interested in your future than your past. Amen?
Let me share with you the story, the narrative behind our text and the basis of today’s message. In this 43rd chapter the prophet Isaiah is doing what he does best – serves as a mouthpiece for the Lord during one of the most trying times in the history of the Israelites.
At this time the Israelites are being held captive in Babylon and are at their lowest point. They’re not just discouraged but fully defeated, deflated and depressed. Anyone been there?
Well at this low point, God sends a word through the prophet Isaiah. He sends a message because God knew that His people needed some reassurance. And went about reassuring them in this 43rd chapter by first telling of Who He Is.
• In verse 1, He tells them that He is their Creator –the One who made them out of nothing.
• In verse 3, He tells them that He is their Lord – that He is the One loves them and that they are precious in His sight.
• In verse 14, He tells them That He is their Redeemer – that He is all they need when in bondage.
• Then in verse 15, He tells them that He is the Holy One – that He is the one who keeps His promises.
If I was facing a major challenge in my life, had some hills to climb, some giants to deal with, some raging rivers to cross . . . These are things that would reassure me, how about you?
Well if that wasn’t enough, in verses 16 and 17 He reminds them of the great things that He had done for their fore fathers. Brought them out of bondage in Egypt, then in the middle of the Red Sea, He made a highway for His people and a graveyard for their enemies. God is all powerful. Witness?
If you’re not sure, think about what the Lord has done for us . . .
• some of us faced pharaoh’s army in the form of a doctor’s diagnosis that death was our destination;
• some of us faced pharaoh’s army when we lost a job or found ourselves not being able to pay our bills;
• As a church family, we faced pharaoh’s army when our church building was falling down around us and we were few in numbers . . . amen?
But in every one of those situations, somebody is a witness to the fact that God made a way out of what seemed, no way. Can I get a witness?
Didn’t God do it? When you think about all the Lord has done, when you think about what changes have been made – somebody oughta shout “Glory!”
But in verse 18, God says, “Forget about your past. Forget about the former things. Don’t think about it.” In other words, God says “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” I’m about to do something brand new. Would that excite you? Would that encourage you?
You must truly believe that God is able to see you through. You must not have an “I hope so” kind of faith, I think so kind of faith or an I wish kind of faith. You have to have an “I know so” kind of faith.
• Faith that will allow you to use your failures and setbacks as a stepping stone.
• Faith that tells you in your darkest hour that God is bigger than your most powerful enemy.
• Faith that tells you that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.
To experience the new and amazing thing that God has prepared for you, you must ACT on your faith.
And to act, to do the things that the Lord requires of us, we must first change our thinking. Romans 12:2, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”