“Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!”
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”
The other day I mentioned the concept of waiting for a shoe to drop. Fearing something will inevitably go wrong. And last night, I realized my heart held that fear. Scars (which I also mentioned earlier this week) reminding me of what I’ve experienced in the past. Seeming to communicate not to trust things that appear good at first, because they could change quickly.
Oh, how powerful that fear can be. Telling us to put up walls and build defenses to prepare for hurt and disappointment. Telling us not to let hope take hold, because it will just hurt more when things don’t work out.
But that is not faith. And I know, I know that is not how my God does things. I know He is good—His goodness is one of His defining qualities. Psalm 119:68 proclaims, “You are good and do good.” Psalm 23:6 declares, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” And the beginning verse in this devotion speaks without reservation of abundant goodness stored up for those who fear our Lord. Abundant goodness worked for each one of us who takes refuge in Him.
I know all of this…but when light shines on the scars of our past, fear can stir. And it can be really hard to shake. And God knows this. He knows how easily fear can crop up. He knows how powerful it is. He knows it can paralyze us and steal our joy. Which is likely why the phrase “Do not fear” and other similar wordings appear so many times in His Word. He gives us this constant reminder, with varied contexts and assurances, that we don’t need to fear because we are His.
As I prayed through my current fears this morning, focusing on reminding myself that my God is good and He is in control, He brought me to where I believe He wanted my thoughts to land the whole time. Because He knows exactly what we need to hear in the moment, and He is faithful to speak if we are faithful to seek Him and listen. Writing out my prayer (as I tend to do when something is really pressing on me), I wrote the reminder that things aren’t all up to me. And that I simply need to walk each step of the way to wherever God is leading me. “Not rushing forward and not looking behind. This is a new thing.”
That’s where I stopped in my tracks. I did not know my prayer was leading me there. To Isaiah 43:18-19, the second passage quoted at the top. To those beautiful words God spoke, decisively telling His people to not look back to what has happened in the past, but to look forward in eager anticipation. Because He is doing a new thing.
Oh, that my eyes would face forward into what my God is doing. Because He is my God. He is personal. He is here. And He is good. With abundant goodness stored up, planned with flawless timing and orchestration, for me. And if you are His, all of this applies to you as well. And if you are not—belief in Christ will get you there. That’s why Jesus came, and died, and rose again: to draw us to Himself, save us from the sin that would destroy us, and connect us to the God who redeems and restores.
We are to learn from the past, sure. Recognize errors in judgment and areas of rebellion within ourselves. Walk with discernment. But do not let the past dominate. Do not let fear be the driving factor in your steps. Fear is not how our God leads; He leads us with peace.
So let us run with confidence into His new purposes. Hoping in the future God is unfolding for us—a future free from the weight and hindrances of the past. Enlarging our tent, strengthening our stakes, lengthening our cords, and not holding back (Isaiah 54:2). Because we know who our God is, we know what He can do, and no apparent pattern we’ve seen before can dictate how He will guide our lives. He’s more faithful than that. He’s more creative than that. And if He says we will not be ashamed when we wait for Him and that He rewards those who seek Him, rest assured He will come through for you, and it will be amazing.
He is active, and He is good, and He is doing a new thing. And whatever that new thing is, however the details play out, His goodness will be seen, your joy will be made full, and His glory will be radiant.