Have you sat in a church service and said about the sermon, “This message was specifically meant for me today?” That’s what happened to me this week.
Our church closed in August, and we’ve been looking for a new church home. We’ve been meeting with a launch team for a church which plans to start in February.
In the meantime, we’ve been visiting different churches around the area. My husband Murray is having fun, getting to visit churches we might otherwise never go to. I’ll be happy to get settled again.
This was an excellent week. We visited a church in Cleveland which has some great history. The current building is from the 1870s. In the 1850s, James Garfield, later President of the United States, sometimes preached there.
This week they studied from Isaiah chapters 42 and 43, and it’s what I needed to hear.
Recently, I’ve been allowing the devil to bring me down by reminding me of my past. I believe I’ve been forgiven, but…
Isaiah 42: 9: See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
Chapter 42 tells of times of Israel’s sin and their consequences. The former things have taken place. We cannot deny that.
But then comes chapter 43.
Isaiah 43:1-2: But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
God says we are his. For those of us who have asked God to be our Savior, He promises to be with us. We may pass through sweeping rivers and flaming fires of trouble, but we are not alone.
Verses 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.”
No, I cannot deny the former things of my past. But God says not to dwell on it. He will make a new thing for my life, like a path through the wilderness, streams in a wasteland. What an amazing promise from a loving God.
Verse 25: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
Because of who God is, he forgives us.
At the end of the service, the minister said, “May today be your Isaiah 43.” I pray that for you as well.