“See the former things have taken place, and new things I declare” (Isaiah 42:9)by Revd Stewart Gibbs
In the Bible the prophet Isaiah was often in a bad place. He had seen his country invaded, his city destroyed and his friends exiled. On one occasion, however, he heard God’s voice saying, “See the former things have taken place, and new things I declare” (Isaiah 42:9). This encouraged him to leave the past behind and start reflecting on God’s providential care in the future. He looked forward to a time when all the things he had been through would make sense in God’s redeeming love.
Christians see many of Isaiah’s writings as expressing hope in the forthcoming blessings of Jesus. He recognised that however things are, they can only get better if we put our trust in God.
All of us can use the end of one year and the beginning of a new one to reflect on our life and its direction. Just like Isaiah there are things we might want to leave behind – bad situations, regrets and our actions that have hurt others which we want God to forgive. But turning to God, trusting his new ways for us and believing in his loving care will help us face 2020 (and any new year, month, week or day!) with renewed positivity and direction.