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"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 desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isa. 43:18-19).

There are many reasons people love America. One is because it stands as a place of hope. People that come to our country have heard that "in America, anything is possible." They have heard, "in America, anyone has the opportunity to achieve success."

Of course, America also stands for freedom and liberty and many other things we could write about, but as we all prepare for this New Year, I would like to focus on hope.

People see our country as a place of hope. For those of us who have been born in and lived in this country all our lives, this powerful word has possibly become dull to us. To someone who has come to this country from another—especially if the place they came from was in turmoil—this land of hope means great things to them.

It mostly means the opportunity for a fresh start to create a new life and succeed in a supportive atmosphere.

To anyone who is a Christian, this should be one of the most empowering and ongoing truths of our lives. Second Corinthians 5:17-18 (TLB) says, "When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! All these new things are from God who brought us back to Himself through what Christ Jesus did.…"

God is telling us that He is the one who has the power and ability to make our lives new. To give them more than a fresh start. He can give them a new start. Romans 12:2 NKJV uses the word "transformed" which comes from the word metamorphose.

Analogous of a caterpillar transformed to a butterfly, it means to be transfigured or completely changed. The verse says, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...."

To those who have received Jesus as their Savior, there can be a powerful influence of the Holy Spirit at work within us. Romans 8:11 says, "And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you."

Are you catching the strength and power of this verse? It is the source for all hope—for all our ongoing hope! It says that it is the same Spirit that brought Jesus Christ from the grave and resurrected Him to the Father that is also at work within us! The question is; is He at work in us? He is only if we engage in these promises by faith.

The devil would like to have us think that we are helpless and that we can't change, can't overcome our flesh, and that we can't accomplish God-given dreams in our heart because we are inept or incapable. What a lie from the pit.

What we do in this life isn't about what we accomplish. What we do is about what God accomplishes through us.

Scripture says, "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 desert and streams in the wasteland." God is wanting to do a new thing in us.

If you were to go to the chapter where these verses are written you would see that for many this won't be true because they don't know their God. In addition, they don't know of His desire to work in and through them. They don't praise Him for who He is.

How about you? Do you know your God? Do you know His will for your life? Did you know that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is the power that CAN BE at work through you by faith?

To me this always creates and renews great hope. I have watched God transform my life little by little over the past many years and it has been nothing short of miraculous. I won't let it stop now. I am praying and thinking about this New Year and a fresh start to things I know God has been dealing with me about.

The New Year represents a new start to a new year. I believe it is part of God's doing to help us think new and afresh. Just remember that as a Christian, you don't fall into the same category as the world. You have the transforming power of God available within you.

Living Word Christian Center
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Burt
Web site: Todays Fresh Manna
Pastor Tim became a part of the leadership team at Living Word Christian Center in 1984 and served as Associate Pastor from 1989 to 2017. He and His wife Renee, also a Pastor at Living Word, resigned, feeling impressed by God to pursue the tremendous growth of their ministry "Fresh Manna," as well as teaching conferences and seminars, and increasing their involvement on the mission field through Tim & Renee Burt Ministries.

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