Renewal for a New Year

December 30, 2021 | by: John Lee | 0 Comments

Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement

The last few years have not been short of difficulties and hardships. As we enter into a new year, some of us may be entering through the valley while others may be entering from the mountain heights of the previous year. It can be easy to feel tired regarding a new year even before it arrives. If you are like me, you may long for renewal. A renewal in strength and energy, a renewal in fractured relationships with loved ones, a renewal in your walk with the Lord, and the list goes on. 

For all those who long for renewal, read Isaiah 40:27-31: 

 Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
    and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint. 

Two Brief Encouragements:

  1. God Does Not Forget His People

If we are honest with ourselves, we are prone to easily wander from this truth often. Though we are children of God, bought by the precious blood of Christ, we tend to live like spiritual orphans still. Rather than waiting on the Lord (v. 31), we’d rather impatiently seek alternative ways that fit our timelines and agendas. We often, though we won’t admit it out loud, believe that we know better than the Lord. Praise God that in His glorious grace He has not left us to our own futile devices. 

As the Lord speaks, in the verses above, of a future promise of restoration to His people, the great assurance He gives to them is Himself. He is the everlasting God. He is the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint. He does not grow weary. He has understanding that is unsearchable. In His grace, He is powerful to deliver by His might and strength (v. 29). Though it may feel as if God has left His people, the reality is that God does not forget His people. 

We gain a fuller picture of this in Christ. Though God should have hidden himself and disregarded us for our sinful, forgetting lives (v. 27), He has not forgotten His people. He does not forget His people. In fact, God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). God does not forget His people. 

  1. God Sustains His People

The God who has not forgotten his people does not leave us where we are. He does not deliver us and then leave us again to our own futile devices. Rather, the God who does not faint or grow weary gives strength to His often weary and fainthearted people (v. 29). The renewal of strength is promised to all who wait on the Lord (v. 31). 

To wait on the Lord is a call to trust in God’s promises and walk persistently in hope. It is a call for us to continually look to God alone for assistance in ALL things. As good as it is to plan for the next year, let us make space to wait on the Lord. Let us attend to the gift of prayer that He has given us. Let us offer up our desires, dreams, goals, and hopes to be conformed to His will and for His glory. 

As we wait on the Lord, we are promised a sufficient and sustaining power to run and walk in all His ways (v. 31). In other words, the Lord renews us with His strength as we release the vice grip on our lives and agendas so that we might know the enduring and faithful grip of Christ upon our lives. Christ will not lose any who belong to Him through faith (John 6:39). His grace is and will be sufficient for you this next coming year (2 Cor. 12:9). 

So, if you are like me and are seeking renewal for the new year, let's turn our hearts to the Lord who will not forget us and who will sufficiently sustain us in His power. 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pastor John

  

 

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