Thursday, September 11, 2014

All Made New: Old Is the Real Illusion

Oh, this piece from Jon Bloom at Desiring God is so good!
So many of us love these words written by Jeremiah, the lamenting prophet, which have sustained us in dark days:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22–23)

Have you ever wondered why Jeremiah says that God’s steadfast love and mercies never cease and yet they are new every morning? How is something that never ceases, new?
Every Single Moment Is New
We might say that Jeremiah is simply speaking phenomenologically, meaning itappears like God’s love and mercies are new with each new day, even though it’s not really new. But I don’t think that’s true. Jeremiah is not merely being more than poetic (which he is). I think there is a very real sense in which God’s enduring love and constant mercies are not only new every morning, but new every moment.
“God’s enduring love and constant mercies are not only new every morning, but new every moment.”  Tweet
Every single moment is new. Every moment is a completely unique creation by God the Father through God the Son who is upholding the universe at that moment by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:2–3). Never is a moment neglected. Never is a moment repeated. Each moment is a new, infinitely powerful and complex word spoken by the Word with deliberate intention (John 1:1). Every moment God makes he decides to be utterly faithful to his character and his purposes. Every new moment God commits to fulfill what he says he will do.
“Old” Is the Real Illusion
When it comes to experiencing things as new or old, I think we tend to interpret our phenomenological experience backwards. The real illusion is not that old things appear new to us (like God’s mercies or a sunrise), but that new things ever appear old. We think of things as new or old mainly because of our mortality. We, and all terrestrial life in this age, die. So we observe creation as it changes and life as it progresses toward death and call it aging. But that’s phenomenological; that’s how it appears. In reality, every thing is new every moment.
God is not old. God is. He calls himself the Ancient of Days to help us time-bound creatures grasp something of the vastness of his eternal nature (Daniel 7:9). But time itself is a creation of God. He is not defined by age.
Neither are you in essence young or old. You are. Young and old are phenomenological terms we use to describe our experience of time in this age and where we think we are on the progression toward physical death. But that’s a relative measurement. Measured against God or the created universe we are extremely new. But in reality, we exist in each brand new moment and each momentary experience is new. And everything we do is new. Whatever you are doing, no matter how many times you have done something similar before, you are not doing the same old thing. You are doing something new, something that has never been done before and will never be done again. We always exist in the new and always do what’s new.
“Behold, I Am Making All Things New”
In the age to come, I doubt very much that we will speak of things being old. All things will always be new because we will live with a far greater, unfiltered awareness and wonder of the continual creation of God without the time constriction of impending death. I think we will find that a world of wonderful mystery is packed into the promise, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5). And I think we will find that there was more than we’ve ever imagined packed into the statement, “the old has passed away” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
God’s steadfast love and mercies for you are indeed new every morning. In fact, they are new with every new moment as he commits with a continually fresh resolve to keep his great faithfulness working for you.
Enjoy the gift of this new moment, whatever it brings, knowing that he who is “making all things new” for you is working all things together for your eternal, ageless good (Romans 8:28).