All Things New

The start of a new year reminds us that there is a chance for renewal.  New growth.  New life.  Fresh starts.

It’s a time of year that God uses to remind us that He’s in the business of renewing, changing, and making things (including our calendar) new.  Making you into who you were meant to be.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5)

But this whole “making everything new” concept, though it sounds fantastic, isn’t done yet.  And you know that to be true.

  • You work your tail off, and still only get a ‘D’ in your class.
  • You get sick.
  • You haven’t gotten that job you’ve wanted.
  • You can’t get pregnant and wish you could.
  • You are pregnant and wish you weren’t.
  • Marriage is more difficult than you anticipated.
  • You’re up to your neck in debt.
  • You’re in over your head with parenting.
  • Your friends abandon you when you need them the most.
  • Your car isn’t running right.
  • You need a new roof.
  • Your girlfriend just left you.
  • You try to do the right thing, and bad things keep happening.

So has God abandoned you?  Is the Bible just plain wrong?  Is God really not making things new?

We live in the already/not-yet tension of this present world.  This is a broken, messed up place.  But it won’t always be this way.  It’s just that we are, in one sense, already new…and in another, seemingly more real sense, not new.  Because all of God’s promises aren’t fulfilled yet.  He’s renewed your heart and place His Spirit within you, but your body continues to waste away.  He’s given you great relationships in the Church…but all around you, relationships are falling apart.

The start of our calendars is a great reminder.  God is still making things new!  He’s still renewing people.  He’s still changing cold hearts.  He’s still redeeming His children.

There’s no promise that it’s going to happen today, though.  He’s making things new.  He’s not done yet.

The new is coming. Hang in there.

The new is coming. Don’t give up.

The new is coming. That’s a promise.

The new is coming. But it’s not here yet.

Remind yourself of these things.  Dwell on them. (Philippians 4:8) Remember that, one day, all things will be restored.  Everything will be made new again.

What do you wish would be “made new” in 2011?

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Ben Reed is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN, area. He holds an Mdiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ben is also an avid coffee drinker and CrossFitter, but not at the same time. Catch up with Ben at In his book, "Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint," he helps leaders through the process of putting a small group ministry together and creating a place where people belong so they can become.