The Israelites were stuck in the wilderness for 40 years because they couldn’t see God’s vision for their lives. They thought of everything in terms of their past. In fact, they complained to Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt and return to a life of slavery because that’s what they knew. Can you imagine?

But God wanted them to get a new vision—a land flowing with milk and honey.

If you want to see change happen in your life, you’ve got to get a vision that goes beyond what you’ve already seen and experienced. A good place to look for that vision is in the thousands of promises contained in God’s Word. Through obedience to His Word, you can claim each one of them for yourself.

Surrendered people obey God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Abraham followed God without knowing where it would take him. Hannah waited on God’s timing without knowing when she would have a child. Mary expected a miracle without understanding the mystery that was taking place inside her. Joseph trusted God’s plan without knowing why he found himself in difficult circumstances.

Each of these people we read about in the Bible surrendered to God, and the end result of their surrender was a victorious fulfillment of God’s promises.

We must learn to encourage ourselves in the Word. That’s what David did in Psalm 27:13–14. Even in the midst of his troubles he said, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (NIV).

Our hope should not be based on what we can see or what’s in our past. Rather, it should be based on the Word of God and His promises for our lives.

Isaiah 43:18–19 NIV says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Give everything to God—your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, your dreams, your weaknesses, your habits, your hurts, your hang-ups. Allow Jesus to take the driver’s seat and then take your hands off the wheel. Don’t be afraid; nothing that is under His control can ever be out of control. When you are surrendered to Christ, you can handle anything life throws at you.

God is always doing something new. Use spiritual discernment to follow His plan and stop following your own thoughts and feelings. Glance at your circumstance but spend more time focusing on Jesus. He’s the author and finisher of your faith.  †