Have you wondered how to have a new beginning with God? If you are sitting among ruins today, then this message is for you.
Perhaps you have experienced the devastation after a terrible loss, or you are holding the pieces of your shattered dreams. Whatever form of tragedy left you sitting among debris and dust, it is hard to imagine how to have a new beginning.
When a tragedy happened in my life and grief settled like a dark cloud, God gently nudged me to the book of Ezra, in which I found encouragement and help to believe that a new beginning is possible.
How to Have a New Beginning with God
The book of Ezra begins with the story of the exiles that come back to Jerusalem–a ghost city, in ruins, covered with ashes, burned and destroyed about 50 years ago from the Babylonian army. Is it possible for Jerusalem to start over again?
Psalm 126 reflects very well the feelings of the exiles coming home. “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” (Psalm 126:1-2)
The Persian Empire subdues mighty Babylon and under Cyrus offers all Jews an opportunity to come back home and start all over again.
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New Beginning with God is Possible
It is very encouraging to know that a new beginning is always possible with God, even after terrible destruction and devastation. God shows us the way, but we need decisiveness and firm dedication to pursue this way of recovery and restoration.
Like in the story of the exiles, we will also need to deal with problems, opposition, and obstacles in the way God has laid before us.
However, for every obstacle and every problem, God has provided a way out and a way to victory.God shows us the way, but we need decisiveness and firm dedication to pursue this way of recovery and restoration. #restoration #newbeginning Click To Tweet
Obstacles on the Way to the New Beginning
The exiles in the book of Ezra have to deal with the hostility and the open opposition of the neighbors, who even managed to stop the rebuilding of the temple for 20 years. Through the ministry of encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zachariah, the Jews start to build again.
Later on, another problem surfaces: the Jews have mixed themselves with the hostile nations around them and compromise their faith. Ezra the scribe imposed a radical and painful decision to deal with that problem.
Exchange the Lies for Truth
What does that mean for us?
The story of the exiles shows us an important principle: the way to overcome the obstacles is to reject the lies and the agreements we make with our pain and wounds and to embrace the eternal truths of God instead.
We can do this when we allow them to shape our thoughts; when we meditate on God’s words and promises; when we speak them and declare them over our situation; when we pray with them and most of all, when we believe them.
The most important thing is to interpret right our suffering and not let suffering separate us from Jesus. Because the worst part of suffering is the damage it can do to our view of God and our relationship with Him.The worst part of suffering is the damage it can do to our view of God and our relationship with Him. #suffering #encouragement Click To Tweet
Preparation for a New Beginning with God
The first and most important stage of a new beginning is the preparation of the heart. This is symbolized by the re-building of the alter, described in chapter 3 in the book of Ezra.
Preparation of the heart involves restoring and investing in our relationship with God and being in constant communion with Him.
Preparation of the heart means:
- to pay attention to God’s presence and words,
- to protect our hearts,
- to have good soul-care that begins with resting in God,
- to learn to grieve in healthy ways.
The Stage of Recovery and Restoration
The proper preparation of the heart opens the way for the next stage: the recovery and restoration work, laying the foundations of the new life after the devastation.
In the life of the exiles, this process evoked mixed feelings: joy and sadness, laughter and tears. Joy because they witness the restoration and the new shape coming out of the ruins and sadness because of what has been (and is lost) and has not been recovered in the same shape.
Yes, we will never have again the same life we lost, but something powerful and beautiful will emerge from the ashes, something that we have never expected: new leaves, new branches, new life.
In which area of your life do you need a new beginning? If this article has encouraged you, then please share it on social media. Thanks!New beginning is always possible with God even after terrible destruction and devastation. #encouragement #hope #newbeginning Click To Tweet
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