Many of us have watched a television series that ends an episode with a “cliffhanger.” That’s the strategy that leaves an important plot element hanging in the balance without resolution, leading us to say, “wait, what is going to happen?” The need to know how things come out leaves us in suspense and pulls us forward into the next episode.
Some of us may have entered 2024 with some cliffhanger suspense. The past year may have ended with loose ends, unresolved tension, or life challenges. We question how those issues are going to get resolved—in fact, we wonder if those issues even CAN be resolved.
Others might be struggling with brokenness that brought pain and heartache in the previous twelve months. Perhaps we made some seriously mistaken choices that brought unforeseen consequences, or experienced the death of a loved one, or faced health challenges that drained us of our energy and hope.
In short, we may face 2024 with doubt about whether we can overcome the brokenness of the past year (and previous ones as well) and whether the challenges we carry forward will find some sort of closure in the year ahead.
For those pondering such questions, God provides us with great hope and encouragement through the prophet Isaiah in chapter 43:16-19:
“This is what the LORD says—He who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters… Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
First, God reminds us that He is sovereign. He is the Lord—God of all creation, Commander of angel armies, the One who makes a way when there is no way. He loves us, cares for us, and has a plan for us that will not be thwarted. We don’t need to have everything under control because everything is already under His control.
Second, God tells us we are not defined by our past. The pain and brokenness of previous decisions is covered by the amazing grace of a God who forgives, restores, and overcomes. God wants us to focus forward, knowing what lies behind us rests with His inexhaustible mercy.
Third, God encourages us with the declaration that He is doing new things. As long as we have breath, God is not done with us, our families, our churches, or our denominational family. We are invited to move into 2024 with the anticipation that God has fresh impact, fresh power, and fresh healing ahead.
Fourth, God reminds us He is the Master of the impossible. He is the One who opens desert ways and pours out rivers in dry places. His heart is to bless His people so that “they might proclaim my praise” (Isaiah 43:21), and He is able to do whatever His Kingdom purpose requires.
Enter 2024 with the confidence that God goes before you to fulfill His heart and purpose for you!