When we don’t acknowledge our past, and we push down our feelings and memories, we can end up in a bad place. The things we’ve done, or had done to us in the past can be useful in helping us move forward in the future. When we take time to reflect on what went well, and what didn’t, we can help ourselves avoid doing the same things again. Also, when we take the time to deal with the negative emotions and memories in our past, we can begin to walk into freedom. When we’re feeling hurt, God promises to be with us, comforting us. Psalm 34:18 says: ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed’ (NLT). He helps us deal with things and face the emotions which we sometimes try to hide from. The psalmist wrote: ‘You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again.’ The psalmist acknowledges his painful past, but also looks to the future. When we focus too much on our past, we can become trapped by it. Looking backwards all the time won’t help us to move forwards. Going over and over what happened to us can keep us feeling hurt and resentful. The second half of Psalm 71:20 says, ‘but you will restore me to life again.’ Here the psalmist has hope that God will change his circumstances. He believes that God has something better for him. He has lifted his eyes from the hard times he’s been through, and focused them on God, the One who can bring life from the tough times. And we need to learn to deal with our past, and then lift our eyes to God, too.
Is there something in your past that you haven’t dealt with? If you feel ready, ask God to help you start the process of healing today.
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