In Revelation 21, Jesus says “Behold, I make all things new.” And this comes on the tail end of John seeing a new heavens and a new earth and a new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. It looks like Jesus is making all things new, and then He confirms our suspicions.
This is a time of year when we begin many new things. There are new classes, new teachers, new students, new families, new friendships, new roommates, new boarders, new lessons, new challenges. But the wonderful thing is that under the blessing of God, as we trust and obey Him, somehow all of our new things participate in the newness that Jesus is bringing to the whole world. Every new thing received with thanksgiving and in faith is part of the new world coming, another step toward all things becoming new.
The center of this new world is the new hearts that are given to us by the Holy Spirit. On the cross, our old selves were crucified, our old worlds died and were buried, but when Jesus rose from the dead, He began to make all things new, beginning with people. And since we have been forgiven and given new life in Jesus, we are invited to participate with Jesus in the renovation of the whole world.
New things can be scary, overwhelming, stressful because of all the unknowns, because of the dangers, because of how things can go wrong. But we follow Jesus who leads us into the future, who leads us into His new world, to be builders of His new city, His new way of life. And the promise of Jesus is that not only is every year a new opportunity, not only is every new job or new living situation or new class an opportunity to begin again, to participate in the newness of His Kingdom, but in Jesus, His mercies are new every morning, every hour, every minute. Jesus makes all things new. All things new. There is nothing that we cannot turn over to Him. There is nothing old that we cannot leave behind. We can leave it behind because we serve the God who always does new things and makes new things for the children that He loves.
Do not long for the past. Do not romanticize last year or your youth or the good old days (whenever they were). Jesus has left the past behind. Even the good things from the past, Jesus is renewing, glorifying, making them better. Follow His lead. Trust Him. This may not be the future that you had imagined and you may face great hardships in this new chapter, but you know the destination is the renewal of all things. Jesus is telling this story, and the theme is all things new. God is wiping away every tear, and He is taking us to a future where there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things will have passed away (Jn. 21:4). And everything will be new.