Let Go Of What Lies Behind

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Do not[earnestly] remember the former things: neither consider the things of old.

Isaiah 43:18

In Philippians 3:13, the apostle Paul says one thing he really made an effort in doing was “forgetting what lies behind” – letting go of what already has passed. I believe Paul tried fixing earlier mistakes and discovered how complicated and impossible it was to try and do that. There is only one thing we can do with the past – give it to God! When we let Him take our messes and turn them into miracle, God has the ability to use our mistakes for our great good if we trust Him to do so.

Isaiah 61:3 says He will give us “beauty instead of ashes,” but I find a lot of people want to keep their ashes, the cinders of the past, as reminders of their shortcomings and failures. Decide to give up your ashes, or that is all you will ever have. Every day is a new day containing tremendous possibilities: new life, new hopes, and new dreams. We cannot, however, even see the possibilities of today if we stay entrenched in the mistakes and disappointments of yesterday. Let go of what’s behind and move forward.

It’s imperative to get our minds out of the past in order to see God’s good plan for today. Abraham was a man who lost plenty. He gave his nephew Lot the best part of the Jordan valley in order to prevent strife, leaving him much less than he owned previously. He could have become filled with self-pity and discouragement, but instead, he listened to God, who told him this:

Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; For all the land which you see I will give you and to your posterity forever.

Genesis 13:14,15

Perhaps you need to look up and around instead of back and down. Lift your eyes and see the amazing future which bursts with hope for you in God! Don’t spend your life mourning over what you have lost and what has already gone; take an inventory of what you have left and keep going, one foot in front of the other, one step of faith at a time. Remember, God is on your side!

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Meyer, Joyce. 100 ways to simplify your life. Faith Words, December 22, 2015. Accessed: January 1, 2021.

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