Have you ever been faced with something so fearful that drawing your next breath seemed impossible? Have you ever longed to forget what has happened, and dwell on the promise of something greater? Have you ever wished your mind would think only of good things, and believe in what God promises? Have you ever yearned for a greater faith to trust in God’s purpose? Have you ever longed for a peace that is lasting? I have!
“Yes!” our hearts hope, and “impossible” our minds declare. And here lies the battle. We want to believe. We yearn to believe. We hope to believe. We cry out to believe. Even though we are meant to be new in Christ, even though we know that all things in our lives are meant to be new, and even though we believe the old should be over, we struggle to move forward in faith. We cannot perceive what this new life, free from the bondage of old chains, really means.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past” (Isaiah 43:18). This Scripture tells us not to wrap our minds around what has happened, and not to continually think about the past that has defined us. It instructs us to make a decision to forget the past. Forget is a strong word, and it means “being unable to call to mind, unable to summon up, or unable to picture.” Now that sounds incredible! Not to remember or even have a picture in my mind of past fears or failures. Forget means that the past is gone. So we shouldn’t continually think about it or dwell on it. He will keep me, and He will keep you in perfect peace when our minds dwell on Him (Isaiah 26:3).
“See,” the Lord states, “I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it” (Isaiah 43:19)? When my mind does not dwell on what has been, hope is much easier. See is another strong word, and it means “to understand, realize, or perceive.” It doesn’t mean to just look. Look has no depth, and is concerned with appearance only. See takes look somewhere it has never gone before. See expectantly believes that God is doing a new thing. Faith is the “new” thing. Faith is not dormant. It is alive. It springs up. Can I not perceive it? Can you not perceive it?
We must forget the former things, bar them from our minds, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:23). We choose to remain confident because we know God does a new thing. “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36). We shall rest assured, because we know He is faithful. We will persevere until the new is perceived. In all things we will seek His will, and He will reward our diligence. We will give Him the past, the fear, the failures, all that has gone wrong, and His peace that passes human understanding, will guard our thoughts (Philippians 4:6-7). His promise of peace is real. His promise of faith is real. We choose to forget the former things, and believe in the promise He has for us (Isaiah 43:18-19). We choose to let go of the former things which have defined us, and believe that His promises of faith, of peace, of victory, of joy, of healing, of hope, of purpose, of freedom, of every good and perfect gift, are real.
“I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise” (Isaiah 43:20-21).