I just have to tell you that God has not promised to do a new thing in your life this year.
Isaiah 43:19 For I am doing a new thing. See I have already begun! Do you not perceive it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
People love to quote this verse this time of year. The new year longs for new things.
When I was a young mom I distinctly remember going to a mom’s bible study and hearing the speaker tell me that “God was doing something new in my life” because Isaiah 43: 19 tells me so. I left that day elated thinking about what God would do and as time passed nothing new was happening. Am I just not seeing what God is doing? I was left bound up by an unrealistic expectation of what that verse meant in my life.
After reading the whole book of Isaiah it’s safe to say that his prophecies are often parallel to what God is doing immediately and what God is doing eternally. This verse was written for the people of Judah. They had been rebelling against God for years and God was telling them that He was finally going to allow what they had reaped to be sown and it wasn’t gonna be pretty. He was going to do a new thing that left only the a faithful remnant of his people. The parallel of this is that God was also preparing the final new thing that would save us all, Jesus. Ultimately in this verse Jesus is the new thing.
So, how did I get so bound up with this verse? Well, first of all, I applied it to my life personally. Does God do new things in our lives? Sure he does. We are not, though, to read a verse out of context and expect that it will magically do in our lives what it was doing in the intended audience’s lives.
Second, I missed Jesus. Jesus is the new thing and he has done all that was prophesied of him. We need look no further for a new thing to satisfy us. Jesus finished it all.
Where is the freedom here? The freedom is in sound biblical understanding. We have freedom from unrealistic expectations that come from applying verses from the bible directly to our lives instead of allowing them to help us understand God’s character. Our freedom comes when we read and understand the scripture correctly, in turn being able to apply it to our lives accordingly.