How many new years resolutions have you broken this past year? It often seems we make them just to break them. Think of new things just for a moment. A new baby in all of his helplessness and innocence in total reliance on his father and mother for all of life’s needs. Like that baby, you and I whether we recognize it or not, are completely dependent on God. Years ago a friend of mine was visiting with a very independent farmer. The farmer told my friend, “for years we’ve survived drought, grasshoppers, fire and flood and we’ve done it all without God and will continue to do so.” Most of us might not be quite that blatant, yet may be of the same opinion but in a much more sublime way. Rather than choose to allow God to have lordship over our lives, we simply but quietly ignore Him and continue to live with our old bad habits and attitudes.
When you think of new things, a new car may come to mind. All of us would probably like to have a new car to drive. There is nothing quite like the smell and tightness of a new automobile. Or what about new clothes? Perhaps you received a new shirt or coat for Christmas. New clothes look and feel great. The colors are bright, not faded and there are no holes in them.
Now that we are thinking of new things, just think of having a new start! Have you ever said, “I wish I could just start over-” to go back, (pick an age), and get a fresh start on life. In a way – you can. You may not be able to turn the clock back physically speaking, (even though we spend a lot of time and money trying to do so), but spiritually you can have a fresh start, a new life in Christ. The Bible states; “…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life,” (Romans 6:4). In Revelation 21:5, Jesus said, “behold, I make all things new.”
It is necessary before beginning a new life to review the past – where you have been and in what condition you have been. In Psalm 107 verse 43, the Psalmist writes, “whoever is wise, let him heed, (take note, pay attention to), these things and consider the love of the Lord.” Verse four says, “some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.” Do you feel like the ancient Israelites did, like you are wandering around spiritually, finding no rest or peace in your life? “They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away,” (verse 5). Are you hungry for a change? Thirsty for the new life that only Christ can give? Henry David Thoreau said, “the vast majority of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Like so many today, do you feel like your life is “ebbing away?” Why not change all that right now? Little by little the harsh winds of life were wearing away at their lives. Sound familiar? They were ready for a change and they knew the only one who could give them the change they so desperately needed and wanted was God.
In verse six, “they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them from their distress.” God is faithful. When we cry out to Him, He answers. Often God waits until we realize our complete dependency upon Him. Have you come to that understanding?
“Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, (verse 10), for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High,” (verse 11 and the reason for verse 10). Life without Christ is like the bondage of being in iron chains. Again, in verses 13 and 14 the psalmist says the people cried out to the Lord and He delivered them and brought them out of their deepest gloom and darkness and broke the chains. All of this Biblical language speaks of spiritual conditions. “They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end,” (verse 27). Are you at wits’ end? Good! Then you are ready for change – a new life! Do like those of whom the Psalmist wrote; “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed,” (verse 29). Call on the Lord! Turn away from your old self and the sin that has you in bondage and get a new heart and a new spirit,” as the prophet Ezekiel said. II Corinthians 3:6 says, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” Get a new, fresh start on life. Cry out to the Lord! Then be sure to do as the Psalmist says, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men,” (verse 31).