A fresh start sounds so inviting. Those words make me think of the dust kicking up behind my tail-lights in the rear-view mirror, music blaring, sunroof and windows down heading towards the great wonderful unknown. Or of a Sandals Beach Resort in Hawaii with the dancing hula girls. It sounds magical, this fresh start idea. That’s how the television and media sell it so you’ll buy their vacation, eat their magic pill, or drink their gin. But what does a fresh start really look like?
Broken, Shattered, Paralyzed, Destroyed, Stolen, Dominated, Intimidated, Cold, Lonely, Cowering, Shocked, Horrified.
What? Terri that’s not everybody’s fresh start.
Yes, but this blog wouldn’t live up to “Real, Relevant, and Relatable,” if it didn’t deal with the hard subjects. So let’s face facts. A fresh start more often comes after the time-bomb of a relationship has exploded, or in the aftermath of a tragedy, or the revelation of the worst possible news. They are the limping, bleeding victims lucky enough to walk away from that scenario and they get to make a fresh start. Many well-meaning Christians will say to them, “God is testing you. He is building your character.” That sounds so magical too, doesn’t it? Yet these survivors are at their weakest moment. Their strength is gone. Their hope is blown to smithereens and the words fresh and start, mean sit down and assess the damage. The sentiment from Christians is not only a scandalous forgery and misinterpretation of God’s Word, it is an out-right lie about God. A lie that leads to more heartache and more brokeness. So let’s throw out the world’s version of character defining moments and reveal the truth about a fresh start in God’s Word.
First, can God test us?
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” James 1:13
Tempted is the Greek word peirazō. It means: to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments. God says He doesn’t ever participate in this kind of judging and manipulation because it’s evil. He isn’t evil.
What is God?
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5
What does God, your Father in Heaven, really want for you?
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (hope and a future).” Jeremiah 29:11
Okay, so if God isn’t testing me, who is? Who is making all the trouble?
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:” John 10:10a
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8
IF God were testing us, I’d say He’s an abusive parent. I would never put my son in harm’s way to teach him a lesson and I’m a paltry human. What about God? He is love. You don’t hurt those you love. Armed with this understanding you can have a real fresh start.
Yes, the devil is real and he is trying to take out as many as he can. Once we stop blaming God, and realize that His promise is to help us out of these situations. We can read and believe the truth about Him.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted (tested by Satan) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].”
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed and the though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” Psalms 46:1
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us, Selah.” Psalms 62:8
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;” 2 Cor. 3:5
A fresh start is the truth that it’s not about your sufficiency or trusting in all we can do on our own. It’s about trust in God’s sufficiency. Today, no matter the condition of your heart, is a great day to believe God and have a fresh start.
God Bless You Today!