How many of you here this morning, would like to have a fresh start in your life?
All of us have made many mistakes in our lives. We have experienced many setbacks and failures. Sometimes we allow these mistakes, these setbacks and failures to enslave us to the point that we never enjoy the full life that God has given us to enjoy.
In John 10:10 Jesus said,
I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.
The good news is, God says,
“ I want you to have a fresh start in life, I want you to have a new beginning, I want to do something new in your life. ”
Aren’t you glad that God wants to do something new in your life? Doesn’t it make you excited to know that God desire to give you a fresh start, a new beginning in life. The good news this morning is in Isaiah 43:18:
The Lord says, `Forget about what has happened before. Do not think about the past. Instead, look at the new things I’m going to do.’
Listen to what God is saying in this verse.
Forget about what’s happened before. He says don’t think about the past.
It’s done with; we can’t change it.
We need to understand that God is far more interested in our future than He is in our past. That’s where you’re going to spend the rest of your life. He says,
Forget about your past. Forget about the former things. Don’t think about it. Look at the new thing I’m going to do.” (Isaiah 43:19)
This morning I want to share with you, how to make a fresh start?
I want to share with you a formula for starting over. Regardless of what kind of failure we have had in the past, regardless of the failure we’ve had in our life, here’s how we start over.
S – Stop making excuses.
- If we want a fresh start in life, we have to stop making excuses for our failures. We’ve got to stop blaming other people. We’ve got to stop seeing myself as the victim of our circumstances.
Other people can hurt us, other people can harm us, and other people can scar us. But the only person that can ruin your life is you. Nobody can ruin our life without our permission. We have a choice and that is how we respond to those hurts.
T – Take An Inventory Of Our Life
- We need to take an inventory of our life. That means we need to evaluate all our experiences. We need to look at what we have left after the failure. We need to take an inventory of our life’s experiences and learn from them.
We need to learn from our mistakes. Failure can be our friend or our foe. We determine if failure will be our friend or foe. We can choose to learn from it or choose to repeat it. If we learn from it then it can be our friend. However, if we don’t learn from it is our foe.
As we take inventory of our life in starting over, we need to ask ourselves three questions.
- What have I learned? If we don’t set down and think it through, we’ll end up repeating the same mistake over and over again because we didn’t learn from it the first time.
What have I got going for me? Have I got my health? Have I got my freedom? Have I got some friends? Have I got a church family? What do I have that I can get a fresh start with?
Who can help me? We need somebody by our side – a friend, a partner, a support person, or a support group. Find someone that can help you. We need somebody else to walk along with us. There is one that we can count on to be there to help us to get a fresh start in life. Jesus will be there; He will help us to pull our lives back together and make sure that we get started on the right foot.
A – Act in faith
- We have to go out into new territory. The Bible says that the key to changing anything is faith. If we want to change our circumstance, it takes faith. If we want to change our personality, it takes faith. If we want to change anything in our life, we have to have some faith.
In order to start acting in faith that means we’ve got to stop having a pity party. We’ve got to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. The more time we spend regretting our past, the more of our future is wasted. The way we set ourselves up for more failure is by focusing on past failures. Whatever we focus on we tend to create in our life.
R – Refocus
- We need to refocus our thoughts if we want to change our life. If we want a fresh start, we need to rethink the way we think. The way we think, determines the way we feel. And the way we feel determines the way we act.
A beggar sat every day on a street corner across from an art studio. For days, an artist had seen him and decided to paint his portrait. When the artist completed the portrait, he invited the beggar into the studio. The artist said, “I’ve got something I want you to see.”
Inside the studio, the artist unveiled the portrait. At first, the beggar did not recognize himself. He kept saying, “Who is it?” The artist just smiled and said nothing. Then suddenly the man saw himself in the portrait — not as he was in his dejected state, but as he could be. Then the beggar asked, “Is that me? Is that really me?” The artist replied, “That’s who I see in you.” Then the beggar said, “If that’s who you see in me, then that’s who I’ll be.”1
T – Trust
- Trust God to help us succeed. Depend on Him. We don’t need depend on ourselves. We’ve already proven that we can’t do it on our own. That’s why we’ve failed. Some people just don’t get it. They stumble and fall and then they get up and say, “I’ll just try harder!” It’s like you go up to a wall and bang your head against it and the wall doesn’t fall down. You try it again and Bang! Again. You keep doing it thinking, “Maybe it will fall over this time.” That’s the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results. If we keep doing the same thing then we will keep getting the same result. We can’t change who we are, only God can do that. I am not speaking about the outward man but the inner man. The real person is the hidden person of the heart. Success in the Christian life is not trying harder, but living smarter. Giving God control of my life.
Will you have a fresh start in life? Will you have a new beginning?
It’s your choice.
How can we have a fresh start? We can have a fresh start by:
- Stop making excuse
Take an inventory of our life
Act in faith
Refocus our thoughts
Trust in God
1 David C. Cooper, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, (Atlanta: Discover Life Ministries, 2000), pp. 102-103. Used by permission
NOTE: adapted from “Fresh S.T.A.R.T.”, Shawn Kelly, Heart Of The Rock 4 Corners Community Church