Have you ever wished for an opportunity to make a fresh start in life? Of course, you have. We all do. As long as there have been people on the earth, there has been both the need and the desire try again.
Life itself is set to run on cycles that give us opportunities for fresh starts. With the beginning of each new day, new week, new month, new year comes another reminder, “Here is a chance for you to make a fresh start.” When we see the buds of life bursting forth on trees dormant through a long, cold winter the message is, “Another season of vigorous, fruitful life is about start!”
Israel went through a season of separation from the Promised Land, because they lost their focus on doing the Lord’s will. They endured an extended period of exile in Babylon; but, God sent His messenger to proclaim a season of restoration and renewal was about to begin.
We read part of this prophetic vision in Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)
Although our circumstances are different now than were theirs when Isaiah spoke this prophetic message to Israel, yearning for renewal—longing for the opportunity to have a fresh start—is something many of us are experiencing today.
This is a very serious matter. I don’t want to trivialize it by simply offering five principles for a fresh start, thus suggesting this is a quick and easy process that requires no effort and has no cost. Nothing could be further from the truth. If, however, you are willing to put forth some earnest effort and follow these five steps, I believe you will be able to travel great distances on the road to a fresh start:
S top making excuses.
T ake stock of your life often.
A ct on your faith daily.
R enew your mind regularly.
T rust in the Lord always.
You will notice I did not elaborate on these principles. The point is: If you are in need of a fresh start, you now have a place to START. But, you do need to start.
Now, lest anyone reading this get the wrong idea, this is not to suggest that we must pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps in order to make this happen. I wholeheartedly believe each of these principles is of Divine origin. More than this, though, I believe God will provide the power to follow through on these principles for all who choose to START.
How can I so confidently make this assertion? I believe God supplies us with the power to act on His will. Feast your eyes on the following words which the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write and see if you don’t agree:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
—Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV
So, there you have it in the simplest way I know to put it. God has a vision for His people to have a fresh start. Just like the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, those who wish to have a fresh start must START. The fact that it is up to each of us to decide to make a fresh start does not mean we must subscribe to the notion that “if it is meant to be, it is up to me.” The opposite is true. God is able to do immeasurable more than all we we ask or imagine, according to His power that is a work within us!
If you are longing for a fresh start, my hope and prayer is that you will START today!
© Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner
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