Forgetting the past is easier said than done. Some memories seem to stay with us, keeping us focused on our past and caught up in negative emotions. When we’ve been through a lot of struggle and heartache, we can start to think that this is how our life will always be. But God’s always doing something new. He’s a creator. He works to restore us and redeem what we’ve been through, but He also creates brand new things. The Bible 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’ (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV). When we’re focused on everything that has gone before, it can be challenging to see the new things that God’s doing. But when we start to let go of the things we’ve been through, we can start being open to the future God has for us. It’s not just the experiences we’ve had that we need to let go of, we also need to deal with the bitterness, resentment, and self-pity that may have taken root in our lives. When Job was struggling he said: ‘I will complain without holding back; I will speak because I am so unhappy’ (Job 10:1 NCV). Once we reach that stage of thinking, it’s hard to believe that God’s going to create something new and good in our lives. God wants us to release our grip on our past in order for us to step into the future He has for us. He can break the chains of our past. But we have to make the choice to step out of them, let go, and look ahead.
Next time you feel like Job did in Job 10:1, say the words of Isaiah 43:18-19 out loud.
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