God’s promises for a new year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 15, 2022

By Rev. Jon Schell

St. Luke’s Church – Granite Quarry

Isaiah 43:1-3

We never know what a new year may hold, either good or bad. But we do know what God has done for us and what He has promised to do in the future. First, remember what the Lord has done.

This is what the Lord says — he who created you, O Jacob

The Lord created you. We were made in God’s image, with intellect, emotions, and a will. “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and not we ourselves” — Psalm 100:3

“He who formed you, O Israel”

The Lord formed you. To form means ”to mold (as a potter), fashion, or frame. It has to do with purpose. Our creator gave us our gender, height, gifts, talents and abilities. He did not make any mistakes, he has a great purpose for us that lines up with how he formed us.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you”

The Lord redeemed you. Redeem means to “buy back, deliver, purchase, ransom” I Peter 1:18-20, tells us we were redeemed by the “precious blood of Christ.” Remember, “You are not your own. You were bought with a price.”

“I have called you by name”

The Lord called you. Called means “to address, invite, summon,” In this passage, the Lord first uses the name “Jacob” (meaning deceiver) but then switches to “Israel” a name given by God himself.  Christians also have a new name and are called by God. Paul said that “God…has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” — I Cor 1:9

Christians belong to God as a child belongs to his parents. You are his through faith in Jesus Christ.

Now consider what the Lord has promised to do:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”

He will be with you. We must rely on the Lord for his presence. “God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” — Hebrews 13:5. When we go through difficulties, knowing that someone is there with us makes all the difference.

“When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”

He will sustain you. Like the currents of a river that try to make us lose our footing, difficult circumstances make us feel overwhelmed. To keep them from weighing us down, scripture tells us to, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” — Psalm 55:22

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

He will protect you. As believers, fire is meant to purify us rather than destroy us. Our God has promised his protection in the days ahead. “For I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your savior”

God’s promises are made by the Lord himself. He is our savior this coming year and always.

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