All Things New

And the One sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then He said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:5
(New Living Translation)

For those who are old enough to remember, May 18th of 1980 proved to be an historically cataclysmic day.  After numerous warning signs, Mount St. Helens erupted with a fury—forever changing the landscape for miles around.  In the aftermath of the devastating event, researchers began studying the area, wondering if life would ever return to this seemingly post-apocalyptic world.

What surprised many, even these seasoned scientists, was how quickly restoration came to charred land, choked rivers, and debris-filled lakes.  As authors John Morris and Steven A. Austin explain, “Early predictions had claimed it would be over one hundred years before life could re-establish itself in the poisonous ash which covered everything.  Despite the predictions, in just a few years, rain and snowfall have broken the ash into nutrients and resurrected the buried soil beneath, allowing plants to reappear in abundance” (from their book, Footprints in the Ash:  The Explosive Story of Mount St. Helens, 2003).

As we begin this new year of 2018, the story of regeneration at Mount St. Helens pales in comparison to what the Lord can do in each of our lives.  Indeed, in Revelation 21 we find that He is the One who makes all things new.  Not a few items.  Not almost everything.  No, the Lord boldly proclaims, “I am making everything new!”

This transformative process begins when we accept God’s gracious gift of salvation by believing in His Son Jesus.  As II Corinthians 5:17 explains, This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” Despite whatever has happened in our past, the Lord changes all of that when we become part of His forever family.  Our old, damaged life is no more; instead, a complete renewal begins because of Him!

Of course, God also reminds us in Scripture that, along with this miraculous, life-altering development, we have a part to play:

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
(Romans 12:2)

While living in this tumultuous world, our job is to avoid acting in ways that are unproductive.  This verse in Romans 12 also encourages believers to “let God transform you.”  In other words, we must intentionally allow the Lord to work in and through us, looking for opportunities to learn His ways and will for our lives.

This part of the transformative process has been mirrored in the aftermath of Mount St. Helens’ eruption: “Perhaps even more starling is the rapid adaptation of certain animals … God designed His creation in such a way that it can adapt to a variety of conditions” (Morris and Austin, p. 108).

How awesome!  God has given His creation the ability to transform, no matter how awful the circumstances.  Despite an unimaginable past, current unsettling situations, or uncertainty about the future, the Lord can and will help us through it all if we so desire.  Even if you feel that the changes you need to make are insurmountable, the One sitting on the throne has already declared, “Behold, I am making everything new!”  This process is already in motion! The Apostle Paul reminded us of this fact in Philippians 1:6: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

So, another new year is upon us.  What will we do with the opportunities for growth and change that lie ahead of us?  Will we get stuck in the muck and mire of this world, focused on what was or what could have been—or will we allow the Lord of Lord and King of Kings to transform us in new, exciting ways that we can’t possibly imagine?

Like many aspects of life, the choice for a new beginning is ours to make—and we can be confident that He who is trustworthy and true will continue His work “until it is finally finished.”

Happy New Year to you and your family from all of us at Sonkist Ministries!

Thought of the Month

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

Colossians 1:6