YOU CAN BEGIN AGAIN
By Nelson Thomas Mumbai
Summary: - Do not be depressed at the repeated failures in life. You can start all over again. Only God can do that. He makes no mistake. A change to heart is the basic. God can cleanse your heart because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. God renews us daily. Final renewal for the earth and heaven is awaited.
“ Brother, my life is ruined ” laments John referring to the failures of His life. “ What hope remains for me?” he continues. All his efforts for success only led him to more defeats. Now he sees only uncertainties and frustrations ahead.
There are many like John around us. They have just resigned from any more attempts and live a desperate life, anticipating only hopelessness to the fore.
My friend let me tell you very personally and lovingly, you can start all over again. No failure needs to be final. Please read on and find out how you can begin anew.
There are some who do hope and long for a new beginning in their life? Due to repeated failures and subsequent frustrations they become melancholic and wish, ‘if only I could start all over again!' Quite often this remains a dream. Even if one begins to take a new step soon realizes the need to change afresh and start again! Frequent new beginnings and abrupt endings in life lead to depression and hopelessness.
Some others look forward to a new beginning but waiting for a better occasion like a new month, year or some other auspicious time! Yet, all his labors become futile.
Is there any way to start all over again? Don't we have a way out of failures and frustrations in life? Is it possible to experience a New Beginning in our life? Let's consider four facts:-
1. GOD ALONE IS THE BEGINER OF ALL BEGININGS.
Bible starts with the statement that “ In the beginning God created ” Genesis.1:1. Genesis is the book of beginnings. It is He who began everything: the earth, the sky, nature, day, night and man etc. Bible says that: - “All things came into being by Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Jn.1:3 (Col.1:16).
Thus we see, the best of all beginnings have been brought into existence by the Almighty God. And the remarkable reality is that He Himself has neither beginning nor end. He makes no mistake, needs no modification. In His eternal wisdom and plan He began things that never become a failure. Yes, ‘He does everything well'. Praise be to His great name.
2. MAN BY NATURE IS FINITE AND FAILS IN ALL HIS BEGININGS.
By the God-given mind human being can think, and plan many things. Proverbs.19:21. Man has magnificent capacity to imagine, investigate and scheme. He has also the ability to implement those designs. But due to sin he ends up in breakdown and disappointment. In the beginning everything may seems to be right and productive but in the end dissatisfaction remains. “ There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs. 16:25 .
Usually failure doesn't stop a man from scheming new ways. He will try another avenue only to face the same fate. Without yielding to the one who is above all and began everything, man continues with the cycle of beginnings and endings. He conveniently forgets that his wisdom and ability is limited and needs the creator's assistance.
3 GOD IS A BEGINNER OF NEW BEGINNINGS.
The Lord not only begins new, He also renews. Psalm 104: 30. True, sin marred the condition of man and the earth. But human failure can never frustrate the eternal purposes of God. In His sovereign will and wisdom He makes everything new again in accordance with His eternal purposes.
We see in the book of Genesis, the increased wickedness of man and subsequent wrath of God and punishment. But He begins again with Noah and family. Genesis 6:7, 8. When that generation also failed to stay faithful to God, He chose Abraham to start afresh. Genesis 11, 12. He did not cancel His dealings with man because of the rebellion and disobedience of Israelites. Instead He declared repeatedly that He will make a New Covenant with them and give a new heart with a new Spirit. Jeremiah.31:32; Ezkiel.36:24.
Thus we see that the Lord allows men to start all over again. Make no mistake; His purposes will never fail. We believe even such renewal- new beginnings- had been planned by Him in eternity. He is more than happy to deal with us again. What a comfort it's to the failed and unhappy soul! It's not too late to take a new turn. Of course any such step should begin with God alone, through Him and for Him. Romans.11:36.
4. GOD BEGINS WITH THE HEART OF MAN.
The basis of all new beginnings as far as man is concerned should begin with heart. Heart is the emotional and intellectual centre of our being. It is the fountain of life. ‘From it flows the springs of life'. Proverbs. 4:23. “ The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders .” Mt. 15:18-19.
If the source of all evil –heart- be clean and clear, everything else will be right. Without having such a new beginning in his heart, man can never enjoy a pure and joyful life. First of all transformation should take place inside us. How it is possible? Do not forget, God alone can do it.
However, before such wonderful divine operation, man is required to cast away the evil of his heart and break it open before the Lord. Ezekiel 18:31; Joel.2:13. We need to sincerely acknowledge our sins and confess it to the Lord with sorrow. Ask for forgiveness and cleansing on the basis of the finished work of Christ on the cross. “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin ”. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse we form all unrighteousness.” 1Jn.1:7, 9.
According to the promise of God immediately The Lord gives us a new heart. Spirit of God begins to indwell within us and everything becomes new. A new creation takes place. As a result a new nature, new direction, new purpose, even a new name we get. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2Cor.5:17. 2Pet.1:4.
Everyone has to begin here. Sad, many make a number of resolutions month after month, year after year. They just try to become better by self effort. With all the wickedness and hostility in heart, rebellious man will never be able to begin afresh, whatever firm decision he may take.
Yes, beloved friend, a new life and renewed relationship with God is the right beginning for all New Beginnings in life. That is possible only through the Lord Jesus Christ.
More new beginnings!
Once we begin to experience the new life in Jesus Christ we commence to realize that we need new strength and new grace as the days go by. As with our physical body we need to nourish our inner man by feeding on the word of God. 1 Peter 2:1—3. We need to recharge our spiritual energy by staying close to the Lord constantly. Isaiah.40:31.
Unfortunately some believers fail miserably in walking with the Lord consistently and there by stop growing as they ought to. Though they are Christians and the Spirit of God dwells within them, they walk after the flesh and behave like ordinary men. Paul terms them as ‘carnal men'. 1Corinthians.3:1ff. Being convicted of their true state they too would cry in despair, ‘can I start all over again?', or ‘ I can not lead a victorious Christian life'.
Is there any hope for such miserable believers?
Yes, indeed! That's what the Bible says. He needs not to be saved again. No need to be born-again once more. The relationship he got with God by accepting The Lord Jesus Christ is for ever. John.10:28. He only needs to renew the enjoyment of that relationship. Praise God, it's possible. Listen to these words; “ Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new, now it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a road way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert .” Isiah.43:18, 19.
What encouraging words to the fallen, depressed and tired Israelites. In the second section of Isaiah, God wants to encourage the exiled Jews. They are so discouraged and demoralized due to prolonged captivity. He calls upon them to forget the past. Don't judge the future with the past experiences. He will do unprecedented, unexpected things for them. Path in a wilderness and rivers in a desert are something that man will never imagine.
Such a new beginning for Israel will be evident and people will see the newness and enjoy their fruit, even call them with a new name. Isaiah.41:4; 62:2 Ezekiel. 47:12. Their lost glory and status will be restored.
All these are applicable for the New Testament believer's spiritual life too. No need to be discouraged and depressed due to the lingering problems and trials. Even now, a new beginning is possible. Refuse to dwell on the past. Look forward. Philippians.3:13, 14. Come close to the Lord. Wait upon Him. Be cleansed afresh by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Renew relationship and grow from strength to strength.
Remember,as some one has well observed, 'victorious life is always a series of new beginnings!' No need to consider the present state to be an end in itself. Any end can be a point of a new start. Failure could be a back door to success, stumbling block could be a stepping stone and weakness can be our strength through the amazing grace of the Lord. Halleluiah!
Beloved, you are not alone. We have plenty of examples. Apostle Peter who denied the Lord and John Mark who deserted the Lord's servants could start all over again and succeed.
Job's story is more pertinent. A blameless, upright, God fearing man who led a very exemplary life suddenly loses all what he has - wealth, health, family and everything. Every one forsook him. Friends, even wife were not willing to stand by him. Nobody thought that he would begin again!
Yet we read, “ The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” Job.42:12. The Lord not only restored all what he lost but gave it double.
A close study of that portion in the book of Job reveals that four things took place before Job regained his past glory.
1. He saw the Lord and His greatness. Ch.42:1, 2, 5
2. He saw his true self and hated it. Ch.42:6
3. He repented with sorrow. Ch.42:6
4. He prayed seriously and selflessly. Ch.42:10
Dearly loved, what are you waiting for? Start afresh now. Decide to begin a new life, a new beginning. Any moment can be a new beginning with Christ. Why waste precious opportunities? Are you waiting for another year end! Before too late take the above steps and ask the Lord Almighty to start a new beginning in your life.
Culmination of all the Beginnings.
While explaining the divine programs of new beginnings, Isaiah goes on to explain the future programme of God as well. There we see the climax of the new beginnings that God initiated.
“ For behold I create New heavens and ea new earth: And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. For be glad and rejoice forever in what I create………The wolf and the lab shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” Says the Lord” Isiah.65:17-25
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ revealed the aspect of God's future programme to Apostle John.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and first earth had passed way. Also there was no more sea. ……..Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, God himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes: there shall no more death nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be nor more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I will make all things new.” Revelation.21:1-5
New heaven & New earth
When the world leaders are trying unsuccessfully to save the earth or bring about a new world order, Isaiah says God will set up a new heaven and a new earth. Many scripture portions refer to that glorious period when Christ shall be on the throne. The earth shall be filled with knowledge and glory of God. Then there will be universal peace, enmity between man and man, man and animal etc will go. Perfection, righteousness and holiness will rule the land. Read Isaiah 2, 11, 32, 35, 65 etc. Then the born again believers who live for Him today will reign with Christ. 2Timothy.2:11. What a wonderful day that would be. That's the hope of a true Christian.
Any beginning will have an end, but the beginning of our life with Christ will have no end. Everlasting peace and joy will be their portion. Make sure that you begin with Him.
Dear reader, how is your present life? Are you satisfied in your present condition? Do you sincerely hope for a new life, a new start? Read this message again, go through the scripture portions, and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to help you, cleanse you and make you new. He will do it for you. Yes He has done it for me.