A Word of Encouragement | Behold, I am doing a new thing!
The prophet Isaiah lived in Jerusalem, and He served as an intermediary between Israel and God, speaking on God’s behalf to the leaders in both Jerusalem and Judah. In his first message, Isaiah conveyed God’s warning to Israel's corrupt leaders that God was going to punish them if they continued sinning in idolatry. However, Isaiah was also a messenger of good news, mentioning the theme of Hope, and how God would fulfill His promises; a significant promise was that God would use a king from the line of David to establish His eternal throne.
Unfortunately, due to the persistent sins of Israel, God did not immediately provide His hand of blessing upon His people, as the Babylonians conquered Israel and took them into captivity. Seventy long years later, Israel finally returned to their homeland, during which God restored them as His people and showed His unfailing forgiveness; God kept His promise to His people.
God used Isaiah to show Israel the importance of not dwelling on the past but rather looking forward and toward the new. Isaiah was not telling the Israelites to forget about God’s faithfulness or the miracles God had done for them. Rather, he was telling Israel to forget about the days in which they were living in idolatry, disobedience, and sin. God desired for Israel to be free from their old, sinful ways, and instead look towards the new, redeeming things that God was doing in their lives.
Oftentimes we can find ourselves “stuck in a rut,” or “prisoners to our own sinful thoughts.” When life does not go our way, we tend to dwell on the negative, replaying various disappointing scenarios, over and over again in our heads. However, I believe that it is essential for each one of us to make a daily, conscious effort to not let ourselves be immobilized by these thoughts. As we see from Isaiah, we can learn important lessons from our past and honor it; however, we must refuse to be imprisoned by our past. God desires for each of us to see the new thing He is doing and to live in the present. We can maintain hope and keep our eyes fixed on God because His mercies are new every morning. In light of this, let’s each ask the Holy Spirit, what is the new thing that you want to do in my life, or show me today?
It might be responding more kindly to our co-workers, treating our family members with more reverence, or even viewing our neighbors in a more positive light. It might be to truly forgive others when they have offended you and release any hindering grudges. It could also be to forgive your own self because God has already extended His unwavering grace and forgiveness upon you. So, I implore you: the next time a negative thought starts creeping its way into your mind, immediately ask God to intercede on your behalf and take away those intruding thoughts. Fill your mind with godly things and activities that help clear out those thoughts and focus on what truly matters.
KCS family, as we gratefully recount the past one hundred years — a full century — that God has shown His faithfulness and His evident hand of blessings upon our 'Ohana, we look forward to another year of doing His work. My prayer is that you find yourselves refreshed and ready to welcome the new school year with enthusiasm, as we seek to glorify our Lord through the new works He is doing in and through us. May we all celebrate the NEW at KCS together!