“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18, 19, NKJV
The Words of Isaiah 43:18, 19, resonated deep in my heart the first time I read them. I knew God had led me to these verses to settle once and for all a matter that I had been struggling with. The night before I read those verses, I had pleaded with God to speak clearly about a particular situation. I didn’t know what to do and feared what God might ask me to do. The very next morning, God spoke: I had to let go of the past and trust Him to do a new thing in my future.
If you are sentimental like me, letting go can be a real struggle. Whether it’s moving on after loss, accepting the new city where God has led you to live, forgiving others, or letting go of a relationship—parting with the past is difficult.
This passage in Isaiah commands us to forget the past by not remembering or even considering it. Easier said than done, right? It’s not easy to stop replaying hurtful words. It’s not easy to let go of a friendship that you realize is more harmful than good, even if God has made it clear that it’s time to distance yourself. However, the Word of God tells us to stop replaying the “former things.” When we are slaves to the past, we prevent ourselves from experiencing the new things that God wants to do in our lives.
The next thing God declares in Isaiah is that He will do a new thing. God does not say He might do a new thing; He says that He will. He does not say what the “new thing” will be, but we have the assurance that He will do something new.
The last phrase in these verses encourages me to trust God even when things seem impossible: “I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” What powerful words directly from the Creator! You might think that only a miracle will help your situation. And you’re probably right. It will take a miracle to fix your marriage. Or to bring a wayward child back to God. But do not lose heart; our God is the God of the impossible.
He can bring healing, revival, transformation, and deliverance to the desert places of our lives. He can open our eyes to the beauty of the present. All we have to do is take His word for it and let Him do it.