How to make a fresh start and receive God's blessing on it

Sometimes trying harder doesn't work. Sometimes your best choice is a fresh start.

Your first encounter with that may have happened in kindergarten, when you were learning to draw. The teacher gave you a clean sheet of paper, you took your crayon, and proceeded to completely disregard everything she had told you.

When your scribbles couldn't be salvaged, the teacher either turned the paper over or gave you a new sheet. Time to begin again.

Life isn't that simple. We singles often avoid setting out anew because it would be painful. It might mean admitting that the status quo isn't working, which is always a tough thing to do. Or it could mean stepping out in faith, another scary move.

fresh start

Actually trusting God

Cartoonist Walt Kelly, who drew the Pogo comic strip, once said, "The certainty of misery is preferable to the misery of uncertainty." It's true, isn't it? If your life is miserable, you might desire to stay in a lousy situation that you're familiar with, rather than face the unknown.

For Christians, the difference is that for God, there is no such thing as the unknown. We may not be able to trust the future, but we can trust God, who does know the future. He is completely reliable.

No matter what our new beginning entails, we need to trust God. Saying it is one thing, however; doing it is quite another.

Working together with God means he is ready to catch us if we fall. Sometimes we surely will fall.

Asking God first

Rather than jumping right in without consulting God about our plans, we should always go to him first, in prayer. We may find that a fresh start is not his will for us. He may be calling us to endure instead.

Often we get no clear direction through our prayers and Bible reading. It's then that we need to balance the potential gains and losses, and be honest about it. Tilting the odds in our favor because it's something we really want to do isn't a good idea.

Optimism is healthy, yet we need to be prepared to handle bad consequences if they occur. Victory is never a 100 percent sure thing.

Making a fresh start means taking a certain degree of risk. That's always the price when you try something new.

The most famous fresh start

Consider what Jesus said to an old man named Nicodemus, who came to him in the night asking what a person needs to do to be saved. Jesus told him:

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3)

Boy! You can't get a much fresher start than that!

Once we are born again, however, it's not a process we need to repeat over and over. One time is sufficient. Jesus did not say, "You must be born again and again and again."

Back to your fresh start

You may be thinking now about some type of spiritual changes you want to make in your life. Maybe your prayer life has gone dry. Maybe your walk with the Lord is not as close as it once was. Maybe you know you need to forgive someone but don't know how. Or maybe you've backslidden in your faith and don't know how to come back.

The Holy Spirit is our helper and counselor to help us grow closer to God. He helps us understand things we just couldn't get on our own.

He will speak to you through the Bible, other people, and circumstances.

No matter what area you want to change, if it's a healthy move, something that will draw you closer to God, you can count on his help and support.

It's no coincidence that Easter comes in the spring, when the world is welcoming new growth. Jesus Christ gave mankind a fresh start 2,000 years ago.

He can help you make your own fresh start today, if you're willing to ask for his help.

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