“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing…” Isaiah 43:18-19.
How many times do we find ourselves going over and over old mistakes and hurts? We hold onto sad, hurt or guilty feelings and victimize ourselves in the process. Reliving our past sins or those committed against us will infect the present and influence our future negatively. As Christians, we won’t experience the peace of God until we let go of the past.
There is a difference between forgiving and forgetting. Does God remember our sins? He can because He is God, but even He chooses not to remember our sins. Scripture tells us that He disposes of them in the deepest part of the ocean.
“I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” Isaiah 43:25.
When past mistakes come flooding into our minds, we must choose not to dwell on them. We Christians tend to take a motorboat out and go fishing in forgiven waters. We must let go of what God has already forgiven. Heaven rejoices over a sinner that truly repents. Pray that God will help you remove forgiven sins from your memory.
“And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God said He hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house” Genesis 41:51.
Now let’s talk about what others have done to us. Christians following Christ will have a desire to forget the hurts they have experienced at the hands of others. All relationships come with hurt. There will always be thorns on rose bushes. His own brothers betrayed Joseph! Always remember that others can hurt and even betray us, but no one can destroy us unless we give them permission.
When Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul) stood in front of the widows and orphans – their condition because he killed their husbands and fathers before finding Christ – do you think they received his message of grace and forgiveness? It is one thing to preach forgiveness, an entirely different thing to live it out, but Paul did. He asked them for forgiveness, trusted God to heal the hurts, and then he let go!
What about our failures? Truthfully, we fail more frequently by what we don’t do than what we do. We miss opportunities to forgive, offer service or give money to someone in need. God puts opportunities in our paths regularly, but we must listen carefully and obey immediately. So, stop thinking about all your missed opportunities. You are simply wasting precious minutes, hours and days that could be spent obeying His leading.
I think guilt is the heaviest burden of all to carry around. When you let go, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. When we are preoccupied with our circumstances, we won’t hear the Lord’s soft voice teaching and strengthening us through the pain we are experiencing. When we are in God’s classroom learning life His way, He will not promote us until we have learned what He is attempting to teach us.
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” Joel 2:25
Finally, how many of you would take Peter back into your confidence after denying you three times? It would be hard for me to do, but Christ did it! He gave Peter a second chance. How about you? Are you willing to forgive, let go and give others a second chance?