Warren Wiersbe says, “God’s people do not live in the past but they know how to use the past to give them encouragement in the present and hope for the future.”
Reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11–13: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity…”
I’m told not to dwell on the past for if I spend my entire day dwelling on the past, I’ll miss the present and the future. Yet, Mr. Wiersbe’s comment about knowing how to use the past makes sense. If I remember the past as a tool to help me not repeat my past mistakes, this can serve as encouragement. Not to dwell constantly and beat myself up, but to recall what snare God rescued me from. As I recall those nearly fatal mistakes, I thank him for his grace and mercy in my past life. Then I can look forward to what lies ahead, learn from my mistakes, and move on to greater heights.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for rescuing me from a potential huge mistake. I felt your presence and now see your divine intervention. Protect me from continuing to bring up the mistake in my mind. I know you forgave me, and now I want to let it go. I owe my life and peace of mind to you. I know you forgave me, but help me forgive myself.
Ask: Is there something in your past that keeps nagging away at your brain? Is there a particular occurrence that just won’t go away no matter how hard you will it to be gone? Do you realize that God wants you to be free of those captive thoughts?