Summary: So, a new year is a good time for us to put the past behind us, and set our eyes upon new things. We should never allow these mistakes, setbacks, failures to enslave us to the point that we are captive to the past
New Year 2016
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
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?
Happy New Year. Some of us here this morning have made many mistakes in our lives as Christians. We have experienced many setbacks and failures throughout our lives. So, a new year is a good time for us to put the past behind us, and set our eyes upon new things. We should never allow these mistakes, setbacks, failures to enslave us to the point that we are captive to the past.
In John 10:10 Jesus said, 10 …I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  He says that there is an adversary, the Devil, which seeks to still, kill and destroy that life. The Devil will continuously remind us of our past in order to keep us from enjoying the life that God gave us to live. The Devil does not want you to have a fresh start in life, he wants to keep us captive to our old life.
The good news is, God says, Wants us to have a fresh start in life, He wants us to have a new beginning, He wants us to do something new in your life. God wants to have a new beginning in life. That’s something that all of us here need this morning is a fresh start with God. Last year some of you said, “I am going to grow in my relationship with God. I am going to get closer to The Lord this year, I’m going to spend more quality time with my family.” The list goes on from there. The fact that all of us here made some mistakes or we made some decisions that hindered us from doing those things that we really wanted to do.
Well this morning the good news is, according to Isaiah 43:18, “The Lord says, 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! 
Listen to what God is saying in this verse. Forget about what’s happened before. Don’t think about the past. It’s over. That chapter is finished, and a new chapter starts.
We need to understand that God is far more interested in our future than He is in our past. Some people think that God is stuck on their past. That all He wants to do is remind them of the things that they have done wrong. God is more interested in your future than He is with your past. That’s where you’re going to spend the rest of your life. He says, “Forget about your past. Forget about the former things. Don’t think about it. Put it behind you. Look at the new thing I’m going to do.”
Israel was being punished for their sins and rebellion against God. God wanted to give hope and encouragement to His people. He wanted them to know that even though they were being punished they were not being forsaken. God wanted His people to understand that the punishment that they were experiencing would not be the end of them. It was to get their attention to the reality that their former behavior was unacceptable, they needed to repent of that behavior. That is, they needed to turn from it, put it behind them, and move on to new things. The fact is that God want to give them a fresh start in life, a new beginning in life, by putting the old things behind them, and heading in a new direction.
Israel no doubt was discouraged because they thought this was the end of them. They had gone too far, they had sinned and rebelled against God to the point that He would no longer be their God. Maybe they thought God would not deliver them again, it’s over. That is when they begin to remember the former things or past deliverances. Israel could remember past deliverances and past victories. They could remember when they were trapped by the Red Sea and had nowhere to go, how God made away for them. They could remember that when the enemy was about to overtake them how He provided protection for them. And they knew their sin. They could remember the former things, but they couldn’t see their future. That is why God said; “I am going to do something new.
Maybe that is where you are this morning! You feel that you have made so many mistakes, you have failed God so many times and you have sinned it all away. Now God doesn’t want anything to do with you. You feel and believe that you have no future with God. The good news is, God’s message is that it’s not over. He has plans for your life this year. He’s about to do something new for you.