Episode 1. Same Old, Same Old
Day after day, life can just seem like more of the same. Same old, same old. As a result, so many of people end up feeling trapped by their circumstances. But God … is a God of new beginnings. I remember a time in my life when I felt so trapped by my circumstances. In […]
Day after day, life can just seem like more of the same. Same old, same old. As a result, so many of people end up feeling trapped by their circumstances. But God … is a God of new beginnings.
I remember a time in my life when I felt so trapped by my circumstances. In work, I had a good job with lots of variety but somehow it had just run stale. Now I’m fortunate in that I find study and university and all that sort of stuff enjoyable and not too difficult yet somehow I wasn’t enjoying learning new things.
And I was blessed in that I had a good upbringing yet some of my character traits that I grew up with, intolerance and anger and all that stuff, they were like a straight jacket that I just couldn’t get out of. I remember feeling so incredibly trapped, nothing would ever change, what I needed then was a new beginning in my life.
Every day we need new beginnings in different areas with different things. Things that once used to be a joy and now they’re drudgery, fortunately, God is a God of new beginnings.
It’s great to be with you on a new series of A Different Perspective and this series, this week is called ‘God is a God of New Beginnings’. Now I’m not sure how it works for you but as we trundle through life we can end up feeling it’s the same old, same old humdrum, nothing ever changes, on it goes, what’s the point? And on top of that so many people, it’s incredible, they feel so held back by their past or even the present.
Some people went through pretty rough childhoods and tough teenage years and so they have low self esteem – and low self esteem is like, it’s like a cancer; it just holds people back from enjoying life and enjoying other people. Some people have even been abused and that affects their relationships later on in life.
Sometimes we’re held back by a character flaw, for me it was anger, other people experience fear. These things inside of us that we just can’t explain and that we just can’t do anything about and on top of those things sometimes we have other circumstances, bad relationships in a marriage, in work relationships, with kids, with all sorts, with neighbours.
You put all those things together and it’s like being in a straight jacket, it’s as though we’re being robbed and drained of the life that we should actually be living. Does that make sense to you? Am I the only one? I speak to a lot of people and I get this sense that people feel cheated of life and robbed of life and this time of year, I think, is a great time for discovering that God is a God of new beginnings. When we feel as though nothing is ever going to change. Let me let you in on a secret, God is hatching a plan for something new. When we feel it’s going to be the same old, same old grind, this month, next month, this year, next year, for the rest of our days, God is planning a new thing because God is a God of new beginnings.
King Solomon, King David’s son, was one of the wisest men that ever lived and he came to this point that I’ve been talking about and he writes about it in the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 1 and it’s written really interesting to me to find this sort of cynicism and whinge and grind in the book like the Bible. Let me read it to you, he writes in the form of poetry and this is what he says:
“Meaningless, meaningless he cries. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. What does a man gain from all his labour at which he toils under the sun? Generations come, generations go, the earth remains forever. The sun rises and it sets and hurries back to where it rises again. The wind blows to the south, turns to the north, round and round it goes, everything returning on its course.”
“All the streams flow into the sea but the sea’s never full and to the place where the streams come from, there they return again. All these things are wearisome, more than I can say. The eye never has enough of seeing; the ear is never filled of hearing. What has been will be again. What has been done will be done again; there’s nothing new under the sun. Is there anything which one can say, “Look! There is something new?” It was already there long ago, it was there before our time began. No-one remembers the men of old and even those that are yet to come, they won’t even be remembered by those who follow.”
In other words, Solomon’s just standing back as an older man looking at life saying, ‘Oh my goodness, what’s the point? Over and over again it goes.’ We all go through that and you know what I think? It’s really sad to see someone’s life slip away under that yoke, under that burden, under this sense that life is utterly meaningless, the feeling that we’re trapped by our past and trapped by our circumstances.
Let me ask you a question, in your life how does that play itself out? In your life here and now, how are you being robbed of the present and the future and life itself? What are the things that are taking all your life away from you? For the first 36 years of my life I lived life that way, I was always waiting for the next thing, I was never satisfied.
When I was at school I wanted to leave school, when I was at university I couldn’t wait to graduate, when I was single I wanted to be married, when I had one good job I wanted the next promotion or the next move or the next job. I was never satisfied, never content, always trapped and trying to escape.
Sometimes we blame the past, we blame other people, we blame circumstances but we need to get to a point in life when we say, “That’s it, that’s enough. I want to live life, a life of real purpose.” Today I live such a life, a life of peace, a life of contentment and purpose. I still look forward, that will always be my nature but I enjoy today and what I discovered was that God is a God of new beginnings, beginnings full of contentment and joy and peace.
The apostle Paul, wrote a couple of thousand years ago, if you have a Bible you can read it, 2 Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 17. He says this:
“If anyone is in Christ Jesus they are a new creation. Old things have past away and behold all things are new.”
We’re going to look at that verse over the coming week and unpack it and explore it but for me, if God is God, if He is the God of love that people say He is, then surely, surely He should be involved in my life. Not just ‘a pie in the sky when you die’ and that’s great, the gift of eternal life is wonderful but ‘stack on the plate while we wait’?
Today, in your life, what area do you need a new beginning in? Because God wants to make each one of us a new creation in Jesus so that all that old garbage and stuff can be washed away and we can look at life and say, “Wow, life is new.” Today, where do you need God to come along and breath His life into that place, to turn the same old, same old, same old into something fresh and new? Doesn’t always mean ditching what’s there, sometimes God just gives us a fresh outlook, He stirs our heart, He fills us with joy and the things that we’re doing take on a whole new meaning and sense of excitement. People so often think of God as an old man with a big stick, it’s easy to forget that God is dad, a God who wants to bless us. I’m just going to pray for you now:
Father, I pray for anyone who is yearning for a new beginning. Lord, you know our hearts, you know our needs, you know where we need new beginnings.
Father, I pray that today, right here, right now, you would open up our heart and just breath your truth into us that you are a God of new beginnings and Father, help us to draw close to Jesus. “Anyone who is in Christ Jesus,” Your word says, “We are a new creation. Old things have past away and behold all things are new.” Father, we need your new beginnings in our lives, give them to us in Jesus name.