Lord, this New Year’s Eve, I look back over all the ups and downs of 2021. What a good God You are. You have seen me through the year.
Read ISAIAH 12
Songs of Praise
12 In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a];
he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
4 In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
- Isaiah 12:2 Or song
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!’1
What a wonderful passage in which to finish our readings in the first section of Isaiah, to finish the old year! Isaiah is setting out what he would say himself in Israel’s circumstances: what he would just love them to be saying. This whole psalm deals with Israel’s relationship with God. The first half concentrates on how this affects Israel; the second half features worship and proclaims the greatness of their God. There is no ignoring the past or pretending it didn’t happen. They have behaved very badly, but for the remnant that have returned to God, the past is over and they can concentrate on looking forward. They can trust God, they can depend on Him, and they can accept that He has acted on their behalf and become their salvation – plus, they can keep drinking from that well: it is not just a one-off. So, what else can they do but praise Him, rejoicing that they can communicate with Him and that they have the wonderful privilege of letting the nations know about Him, who He is and what He has done! Our God is indeed great!
I am grateful that God constantly provides the opportunity of new beginnings! Of course, if we are ‘in Christ’, then we can be fully assured that what He did in coming, living, dying, and rising has allowed us to set the past – however chaotic – aside and live in the ‘new creation’.2 We do fail, however, and it is good that God has created time and gives us new days, weeks, months and now a new year, to start again. Let us, in the year ahead, sing His praises and ‘make known among the nations’ (v 4) what He has done for us and what He can do for them!
Talk with a friend about problems you have had or observed over the last year and resolve together to face the new year trusting, obeying, and proclaiming God.
Heavenly Father, standing on the threshold of a new year, I renew my trust and confidence in You. Impress upon me the vision You have for me in 2022.
1 2 Cor 5:17 2 2 Cor 5:17