by Rick Warren — November 4, 2022
From Building a Better Life
“Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now!”
Isaiah 43:18-19 (GNT)
You can’t go backward in life. You can only go forward. That means you have only two choices: You can long for the way things used to be, and not change a single thing about today, or you can trust in God to do something new.
The Bible says, “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV).
God is a God of newness. He doesn’t do the same old things all the time. And so, to live a better life, you need to cooperate with the new things God wants to do in your family, in your career, in your friendships, in his church, and in the world around you.
But people aren’t always interested in the new things God is doing. Sometimes you’ll dream about the past and say, “I wish I lived during that era,” or “I wish I could go back to that period of my life.” But wishing for the past is like looking in the rear-view mirror while driving and never looking out the windshield. If you keep that up, you’re going to crash.
God says in Isaiah 43:18-19: “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now!” (GNT).
Before you can embrace the new things God is going to do in your life and in the world, you have to be looking for them. If you’re always looking backward, you can’t “watch for the new thing” God is going to do.
I chose the word “embrace” intentionally. Why? Because “embrace” means more than to just agree with something or to grudgingly accept it. Embrace means to be content with it—or even love it! You don’t embrace things you don’t love. God wants you to embrace the new things he does.
How do you show God that you’re focused on the new things he’s doing? You pray, “God, help me to do what you’re blessing,” instead of “God, bless what I’m doing.” And when you do, you’ll be able to embrace the incredible things he is going to do next.