Moving Forward

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory God that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18 LSB

I read a while back that said, “You can’t grab hold of the future if you are holding on to the past.” Past trauma can be something very difficult for us to handle. It sounds simple to say just forget the past. It would be nice if we had a switch that we could flip to help us remember the good and forget the bad. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

I recently heard of a friend of a relative who had transmission problems with his vehicle. He drove several miles in reverse to get home when he couldn’t shift it into forward or drive. I’m not good at backing up, so I can just see myself ending up in a ditch. Our vehicles were not designed to drive in reverse. Could you imagine having to drive your vehicle in reverse everywhere you went. I can assure you I wouldn’t be going many places like that.

Cars are now designed with back-up cameras, but it’s still not as good as being able to look forward and go forward, right? God didn’t give us back-up cameras in our heads. He didn’t give us eyes in the back of our heads. I have to believe this is because He intended for us to look ahead.

God intends for us to move forward. We are to keep on pressing onward toward the prize. In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul wrote, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 43:18, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” This is easier said than done, especially when someone has hurt us or hurt those we love. I used to have a hard time with this until I realized that if God stayed focused on the past, He would remember all the times I hurt Him. He would dwell on the times I didn’t go to church because I wanted to rest or sleep in or do anything else. He would remember the times I got angry and took His name in vain. He would remember the times I violated His commands by the way I lived my life.

I didn’t always strive to please Him. We can grieve God just as other people grieve us. We are told in Ephesians 4:30-31 not to grieve the Holy Spirit, but to get rid of all bitterness and anger and wrath and shouting and slander and all malice.

I now strive to please God and I will tell you at times I struggle to forgive and forget. I struggle to not remember things people have done to me or those I love. It’s not always easy, but I know it’s necessary.

I know that Jesus plainly said in Matthew 6:15, “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” I have too much sin in my life to risk it not being forgiven. I want God to forgive my sin and forget it and the Bible tells us He will do that. We are told in Psalms 103:12 that God removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.

Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday and as He will be in the future (Hebrews 13:8). We can trust in Him to forgive us. We can also trust in Him to strengthen us to forgive others and to remove all bitterness from our hearts. Dwelling in the past only stops us from moving forward. Stay focused on Him and He will keep you going in the right direction.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Focus on Him and keep moving forward on the straight path.

Have a great day!