There I was, sweating profusely after a really great workout. I pushed myself hard this morning. In excitement, I jumped on the scale and… Drum role please… Why can’t I drop the weight? What on earth is going on? I work hard, I really do, but it just isn’t happening. I get so discouraged and wonder why I just can’t get it together and lose this #$%& weight!
Fast forward about 30 minutes. Took a shower, got dressed and heard a song on the radio…
“You are making all things new, and we are free.”
These words came from a verse found in Revelation 21:5. “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
For some reason, it stuck with me. The “You” of course is God. And He’s making all things new (except my body). But then it really got me thinking. I know so many people that are in the same boat as I am, except worse! Losing weight is important, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not nearly as important as some of these friends struggles… Keep in mind, these are real words from real friends. Names changed of course, but real none-the-less.
Jim has been looking for a job for literally 2 years! He sends me text messages every so often, “Jon, I’m going in for an interview with the Director of Sales. Please pray.” And of course, I pray and respond with some encouragement. I get the same text 2 months later.
Lisa is going through a painful divorce and feels as if happiness is a long lost friend. I’ve seen her shed some quiet tears, no doubt pain and confusion are her companions. “Why can’t things be better…” she utters in a sniffling whimper. Divorce hurts. I know where she’s at right now.
John came to me in secret because he’s got some struggles he just can’t seem to get under control. “I try and I try and I try. I just keep failing. I have no hope and I don’t see how God can fix me. I actually think there’s something really wrong with me” We prayed for freedom, but I wondered if he really believed he could be set free.
“You are making all things new, and we are free.”
Do I really believe that? Do you? Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. If things are going well, I can belt out those words… “YOU ARE MAKING ALL THINGS NEW, AND I AM FREE!!!” But when the sand begins to shift under my feet and I find myself struggling with life or failing over and over and over, that song seems to change a bit… “You say you are making all things new, but I don’t seem to be free.”
What does it mean when God has the audacity to tell us that He is making all things new as we flow terrifyingly towards a two hundred foot waterfall? Worse yet, we just took the plunge?
I think it has more to do with defining what’s new and less about our situation. Does God want my marriage to be a good one? Yup! Is God pleased when I find a good job and work hard as a faithful employee? Sure does! Wouldn’t God want me to experience freedom in my life over some secret sin that has me in its nasty grip? Absolutely! So why doesn’t He “make it happen”?
He has. He does. He’s made all things new. As we walk in the newness of life with Jesus, we are a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” NLT
And as a new creation, it’s ME that’s changed, not my situation. I think we often fall into the trap of thinking God should be changing our environment (our marriage, our job, our sin issues), instead of us recognizing that we are already a new creation in Jesus!
My marriage may be on the rocks, but its ME that’s new! God wants to change MY heart, even if my marriage is falling apart. I will never be satisfied if the outcome of a perfect marriage is what brings me joy. I will, however, find great joy if my outcome is to trust in Jesus and live in a newness of life NO MATTER WHAT SITUATION I FIND MYSELF IN.
Not finding a job can certainly be painful. Or having a sin that strangles me produces doubt and a severe loss of hope. But living a life for Jesus and simply believing that He’s made me a new creation is exactly where He wants you and me to live!
So what happens when I live as a “new creation?” My focus is on Jesus, not on myself and certainly not on my terrifying situation. When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water, the only reason he began to sink is because he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to look at the wind and the waves crashing all around him. See Matthew 14:22-33.
Our lives are filled with wind and waves. Life is hard. Stuff happens! But I’d encourage you to believe in one simple truth… You are a new creation! All things are new and you are free.
Free to trust that Jesus has you, not that your situation will turn out the way YOU want it to. And I know this seems far fetched and extremely difficult, but that’s what faith is. Trusting that God has your back. He loves you. As a matter of fact, He loves you so much, He made you new…