New Year, New Beginnings

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 ESV

January is often a time for reflection and may result in a decision to go in a new direction. But new beginnings can come at any time and in many ways. 

Some are joyfully anticipated, like the birth of a baby. Some can seem rather daunting, like starting a new job.

And some can hit us suddenly and with sadness, like the death of a loved one, losing your job, or the end of a relationship. These seem like the end rather than the beginning, but we need to move forward and discover what life will be like in this new stage.

There are many stories about new beginnings in the Bible too. Stories of creation, calling, repentance, and rebuilding.

The story of rebuilding the temple in the Book of Ezra drew my attention today. It starts in Persia with a foreign king, holding the Jews captive, proclaiming that the Jews are to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. 

A phrase used about the king and then repeated about the Jews caught my attention: ‘the Lord stirred up the spirit’. When God has a new beginning for us, he will ‘stir up our spirit’ to take action. However, as we see in the book of Ezra, that does not mean things will necessarily run smoothly. The Jews faced opposition from their own people, a new king halted the rebuild, and they recognised sin in their own lives that they needed to confess and repent of. But eventually, they did rebuild the temple.

Maybe God is stirring up your spirit for something new. It may not be easy. You may be challenged by others or challenged to make changes in your own life to make you worthy of the task. But God will be with you and help you.

When I first made the decision to start my website, Karen Hopkins Online, this was my ‘verse of the day’:

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

That was a real encouragement to me as I faced my new beginning and I continue to rely on that verse.

What new beginning are you facing this year? Are you excited, daunted, disappointed, or a mixture of them all? I pray that you will find encouragement in God’s word to step into your new journey.

For more stories on new beginnings, and how to apply God’s truth to your life, join my (free) email course, New Beginnings.

Karen encourages and equips women to study the Bible confidently. Be sure to check out her site: Karen Hopkins Online!

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