God can offer us new management

By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist

Does discouragement hang around your door? Are you tempted to throw in the towel? Whenever I see a sign “Under New Management,” I think of new life under spiritual “New Management.” To me, new management implies something new and different.

I heard a friend tell a story about two men. One man claimed God talked to him. The other man challenged him. “I’ve been a sinner so long God couldn’t forgive me.”

“Of course he forgives you,” the friend replied. “That is why Jesus came, to save sinners.”

“Then when you go to bed tonight, ask God to tell you which sin he has forgiven,” the second man said.

The next morning the man rushed to his friend and said, “What did God say?”

“He forgot.”

God forgets sin of repenting sinners. The greatest news is we can have a new life under “new management.” Forget the past. Tomorrow is a brand new day. God accepts us where we are right now, and we can make a new start.

Starting over is never easy, but it is incredibly important. The past is just that … the past. Beginning under new management is a choice we make. When is the time to start? Right now. I love the book of Revelation. It ends with new beginnings, a new heaven and a new earth.

Resolve to be under new management today. We cannot undo the past, but we can have a new life today. Your new life can begin right now. Jesus allowed Mary Magdalene to begin again, and she was the first person to lay eyes on our risen Savior. That’s what beginning again is all about, putting the past behind and looking forward to today and every day.

We are living in tumultuous times. Economy looms; terrorists threaten; homes are lost, if not by bankruptcy, by physical disasters; plagues appear; and problems seem to go on and on. The only safe place to be is in the arms of Jesus. I delight in God’s promises. God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). God is in control no matter what may happen.

The child of God is under new management, and God tells us, “Have I not commanded you? Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).

In a world of darkness, God’s new management is a welcome sign. The sacrifice of Jesus, nailed to a cross for the sins of mankind gives assurance to troubled souls. Jesus endured sorrow for our joy. He trades peace for our anxiety. He exchanges a cross for a crown of righteousness. He gives hope for the hopeless, a home for the aching heart. He turns disappointments into God’s appointments. What an incredible bargain.

“If I had been the only one in this dark world of sin,

Still Jesus would have died for me. He is my dearest friend.

The wounds he bore, the agony upon a cross of pain

Is more than I can fathom, for me, he suffered shame.

It was for me his blood was shed, he saw me in life’s time.

The stripes he bore, the crown of thorns, for me. Now he is mine.

To me one thing is certain; the battle could not be won.

Were I the only one on earth, still Jesus would have come.”

God is only a thought, a breath and a heartbeat away. He is ever ready to hear the heart’s cry for a hurting soul.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”