It is a new day and a new year. With a new year come new challenges, new decisions and new experiences. As we start this new year we all have ideas, goals, and things we would like to accomplish, but we are not alone. God is never-changing (Hebrews 13:8) and He has plans for your life and mine (Jeremiah 29:11). God is always working (John 5:17); even now behind the scenes He is working. And not only is He working behind the scenes, but He is also working in you (Philippians 2:13).
In Isaiah 43:19 the Lord is speaking to Israel and He is telling them that He is doing a new thing, and He asks them, “… do you not perceive it?” (NIV) I would like you and me to ask ourselves this very question today. In your life and in mine do we see the hand of God moving and perceive that He is doing a new thing? In the second part of verse 19 the Lord says, “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Do you feel like you are in the wilderness? Like you are in a wasteland? Are you in the valley? God is making a way for you right now, in the place you are in right now. When we are in the wilderness we are in the perfect place for Him to do something new. He is doing something new; He is creating life amidst death and He is making a way.
In verses 20-21 of Isaiah 43 the Lord says, “… I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself…” God is telling you and me, His chosen, that He has us in the wilderness so that He and He alone might provide for us and make a way where there was no way. He has created and is forming you and me for Himself.
Why does God do this? Why does God send His chosen people out into the wilderness? Yes, He wants to be the sole provider, but what is the central purpose of all of this? The answer is at the end of verse 21: “that they may proclaim my praise.” God leads His chosen people into the wilderness (Hosea 2:14) for a purpose. He provides our sustenance and gives us hope, and in return we praise Him!
God is glorified by our praises and, like our prayers, our praises will outlive us. Psalm 79:13 says: “So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.” (NASB) Our praise is a seed that is left for the generations to come. Also, others are impacted through our praise. Just look at the story in Acts 16:25-34. What started as a moment of praise in a prison cell became an eternal change for a whole family. In our moments of weakness today, may our ability to praise become someone else’s glimpse of faith. When someone else’s world is shaking, may our faith draw them into the current of God’s power, the only source strong enough to save people.
Right now God is doing a new thing, do you see it? Are you trusting in and believing on the Lord today for Him to provide for all of your needs while you are in the wilderness? Are you proclaiming His praise? Here in Isaiah 43, as in Genesis 1 and elsewhere in Scripture, we cannot help but see the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit at work. God the Father is doing the new thing. Jesus is the way in the wilderness (John 14:6), and the Holy Spirit is the streams of water (John 7:37-39 and Isaiah 44:3). He is doing a new thing in forming you and me for Himself, and we will declare His praise!