When we go through situations similar to the ones we experienced in the past, fear tries to make us look back. There’s this natural fear that the bad situations might happen again and that our efforts will all be in vain. When we go through the desert, everything becomes more intense. Our problems get worse, and so we must intensify our attitudes of faith and double our vigilance, for the words of defeat come from all sides.
At all times, but especially in these extreme situations, when we feel alone in the desert and evil disguises itself as reality, we have a very important choice to make. Our life depends on it. Either we choose to listen to the voice of this world, the voice of impossibilities, the voice of fear and the voice of the negative experiences of the past, or we choose to listen to the Voice that says to us:
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18,19)
This is amazing! It is so strong that we should taste it carefully to appreciate it fully, to keep it inside of us, and absorb all the nutrients of this Word:
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old” — Human beings have a tendency to evaluate their present in relation to things that happened in the past. If what happened was negative, this tendency can create a trauma that will interfere with all the choices a person makes from that moment on. It’s only natural that, when faced with a problem similar to one we experienced in the past, we fear that the same negative results are repeated. However, God is very clear: all traumas, bad experiences and adverse situations should be disregarded. In fact, we must not remember the former things or dwell on the past. So, we should not hold on even to the good things that happened in the past, because faith looks forward and is never laid-back.
“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth” — Forget the past. The Holy Spirit has breaking news: He’s doing something new! And if He is telling us to forget the former things, it’s because what He is doing is much greater than what has happened so far.
“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?” — It was going to spring forth, that is, it was not visible yet… then why is He saying that you should know it? He does not say that you should feel it, but that you should know it! How can you see what is not visible? It’s only possible through the eyes of faith, which has nothing to do with religion, but with “the substance of things hoped for” and “the evidence of things not seen.” Only then can you see what does not yet physically exist, regardless of what you hear, see or feel.
“I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” — This promise made me jump for joy inside (I’d literally jump for joy if it was okay for me to just jump around). Even in the desert, we have the assurance that we will not be alone, we will not die, or be in need of anything. He promises to make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. No matter how arid or lonely a place may be, He promises to be with us, guide us, and meet our needs. A new world of endless possibilities has opened up in front to us. How can we not notice it?
When problems arise, many people only pay attention to them, focusing on the impossibilities and swallowing the negative words that are offered. But when we give our lives to God, we enter the Door. We stop living in the kingdom of impossibilities and start living in the kingdom where everything is possible, whose King is the Creator. He is always creating something new. And because we know this, we should hope for the wonderful things He is certainly creating. Thus, it is impossible not to notice that something extraordinary is about to happen.
In the middle of the desert or through the storm, we can hold on to this Word. It is a piece of advice and a promise, but I take God’s advice as a command because I’m not stupid. It’s as if He was saying, “Forget what happened. I’m doing something much better. How can’t you see? Use your faith and take a look here.”
I know that we will always go through deserts and that problems arise every day, but if we keep our eyes firmly on faith, ignoring the past and any negative suggestion, we will never fail to notice the new things that God is doing. It renews our strength and gives us a peace that no one could ever comprehend. But they don’t need to comprehend. Just wait. Very soon it will come to light and everyone will see.