New Beginnings bring out so much hope and excitement. Especially when what is “ending” has been less than stellar. How many times have we felt a renewed sense of hope knowing that “this, too, shall pass”? New beginnings; however, don’t have to be saved for January 1st. I see new beginnings everywhere; a new move, new jobs, new friendships and relationships. As a teacher I have a lot of new beginnings- new semesters, new weeks, and a new school year.
Even each day we wake up is another chance for a new beginning. In Lamentations 3:22-23, we are reminded that “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” This is one of my favorite promises in scripture. My dad loved the old hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and I think I can see why. Each and every day we can wake up with a new chance and new mercies from God; a chance to do things in a new way, to do things better.

God offers the ultimate new beginning when he offers us new life through Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we see that we literally become a new creation; old things have passed away and behold, all things become new. Ephesians 4:22-24 reminds us “to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” It’s not always easy; I won’t lie to you. It is often a process of changing habits, thoughts, and responses. BUT the good news is that God does the transformation. Our job is to surrender and choose the better option the Holy Spirit offers us. Paul talks about this in Philippians 2. In verses 12-13 he says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” This shows the balance of us and God working together to bring about the changes. The Holy Spirit draws us to better choices, then it is our job to heed that prompting.

But the cool thing is we don’t only get to experience that new beginning when we originally give our lives to Christ. We can have an entire journey of new beginnings with God.

All throughout our walk with God He prepares us for new things; new adventures, new ministries, new relationship and many more. In Isaiah 43:18-19 God says, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” I don’t know about you, but that is an exciting prospect especially when I’ve been crawling around in the desert for a while. I will be honest with you about this one and share about a time over 8 years ago when a long-time boyfriend and I had broken up. We had been together 2 years and had talked about getting married, but he was still pretty bogged down with disappointments from his past. I can see now he was not ready, but at the time I thought we were in it for the long haul. The break-up could not have surprised me more, but nevertheless, there we were. I kept holding out hope that he was going to “come to his senses” and want to pick up where we left off. During those weeks I came across this verse in Isaiah and, to be honest, I didn’t want something new. I wanted the old, but better. Well, years later I was 100% healed and over it and ended up meeting my amazing and wonderful husband and couldn’t be happier for the new beginning that God promised. All that to say, even when we don’t want that new beginning, we can totally trust God.

I think another way I see God bringing new beginnings throughout our walk has to do with keeping us focused. Sometimes we can get distracted while we are living life. Maybe we are allowing past defeats or even victories to keep us from staying the course. In Philippians 4:13-14 Paul talks about moving forward and forgetting things from the past. We need to press on toward the goal and prize that God has called us to. This new beginning looks a little different, but it’s still a promise that even if we get sidetracked, God will always get us back where we need to be.

Another verse I love comes to us from 1 Peter 1:3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (ESV, emphasis added). Life is full of ups and downs, stops and starts, victories and disappointments. If there is one thing we need, it’s the hope that we can always “start over”. Throughout our lives, God is always offering us hope and the ability to start again and get it right. I pray you are willing to take advantage. You won’t regret it.

*All Bible references are English Standard Version

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