Happy New Year

We are beginning a new year, the old is gone and the new has potential and hope.  The old year is past.  We get caught on the past, we often think about how the past defines us.  The past is just history.  We make mistakes and we sin, but with God we all have hope.  God does not want the past to define us.

Genesis 18: 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.

Sarah was thinking the past defined her, she was past the age of childbearing.  Sarah had wanted a child, to have a family, she even gave Hagar to her husband to try to build a family.  It is interesting in verse Genesis 18:11 she is past childbearing, but verse Genesis 18:10 was telling her something different, the past did not define her.

Genesis 18:10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.

Sarah’s mind immediately goes back to the past, she had her chance but it did not happen.  Sarah was working at accepting her situation and these strangers show up to tell her different.

Genesis 18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

We can read this verse and think perhaps Sarah was laughing to rejoice, the definition and response indicate she was laughing in disbelief.  Sarah was mocking them for saying such foolishness.  Sarah was living in the past and she was past having children.

Genesis 18:13-15 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’  Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”  Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”  But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Sarah attempted do deny the fact she laughed.  We at times do the same, we try to redirect the intent of our reaction but the truth is known we laughed in unbelief.

Now we need to remember who is speaking the words Sarah heard.  “Then the Lord said to Abraham,” Sarah was listening to the author of life and she struggled.  We can struggle too.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God wants us to accept His words, He has a hope and a future for us.  God does not want us to live in the past.  God does not want us to let the past define us.  Others try to define us by our past.   Who are we?  Do we believe the voice of the naysayers or the voice of the author of life?  The author of life will lead us into the new life God has for us.  There is only one way to accept this new life.

Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Remember, the Lord is speaking, the author of life.  We must give the Lord all our heart.  To give the Lord all our heart includes repenting and turning away from the sins in our past life.  The Lord does not want us to simply feel bad about what we have done and feel bad about ourselves.  The Lord wants us to realize our sins did not take us where we truly wanted to be in life.  We cannot be free from our past while we are still clinging to sin.  We all sin there was only one who didn’t but He was God.

Romans 3:22-24 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

We have grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  But why does God do this?

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

God does not love us as part of a crowd.  An entertainer can put his hand to his face, mimic throwing a kiss to the audience, telling them he loves them.  But if an individual that was in that crowd approached him and wanted to build a relationship, the entertainer  would likely call security.  The entertainer loves the crowd as a whole not the individual.

God loves us as an individual, God wants an intimate relationship with you.  By intimate it simply means it is just between the two of you.  You will share things with God other people don’t need to know.  He is showing you His deep satisfying love, this will help you to love Him at a deeper level.

We can have a Happy New Year as we step into a deeper relationship with God, the author of life, who is helping you not to be defined by the past.

Written and posted by Joyce E Poggensee

Verses referenced: Genesis 18:10-15, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Romans 3:22-24, John 3:16-17