September 4, 2003
Letting Go of the Past and Moving On
I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead (Philip. 3:13).
The Apostle had many advantages. He was well educated, honored and respected among his people. Yet he counted everything “loss” that he might know Christ. In His epistle to the Philippians he wrote, Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philip. 3:8). Paul let go of his past. His trials and tribulations were many; he was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel, beaten, left for dead, shipwrecked, his sincerity was questioned, and he was rejected. Yet, he set his mind on things that are above, and was unwilling to allow any loss or unforgiveness keep him from obeying God. His confidence was not in man, but in God.
It is natural to look to our caregivers for nurturing, affirmation and support, placing confidence in people, often suffering disappointment. But God who knew you before the foundation of the world has given you a wonderful promise in Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future. God knows the future, and his plans for you are good. Your past may have been strewn with inconsistencies and heartaches, but God sees the end from the beginning. You may be grieved over your childhood or loss of your childhood, angry with God or with yourself, you may be grieving over the loss of financial security, marriage, a child and the list could go on and on. There is a time to grieve, but there is, also, a time to let go. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
It is my belief that grief is a healthy reaction to a loss. The process of grief either leads you to defeat or greater victory, and you determine which it will be. The grieving comes to an end when you are ready to let go and trust God, forgive those who have betrayed you – and receive your forgiveness. God intends for His children to be more than conquerors. God’s unconditional love is shed abroad in your heart, enabling you to forgive and let go of the past. You can walk out your destiny because God has given you a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (Read 2 Timothy 1:7).
You may talk yourself into starting on a new project, meeting new people only to be reminded of the past. As a believer you have victory over these spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, and the world. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the devil throws your way. (Read Ephesians 6:10-19).
God has prepared a table for you in the presence of your enemies. He has given you His thoughts about who you are in Christ, and provided a Helper (the Holy Spirit) who cannot fail. You have the power to step on top of circumstances, obtain a new perspective of who you are by telling yourself the truth. God works in “all things”—not just isolated incidents—for your good. God even causes the evil to accommodate itself to His own purposes – to give you peace, hope and a future. He is able to turn every circumstance around for your long-range good. Letting go of the past defuses the sting of old memories and its power is taken away. You were created for God’s purpose and His good pleasure. He chose you to be His very own; you are the apple of His eye.
Paul met Jesus and He life was never the same. You have met Jesus, and it is the beginning of a new walk – old things pass away and behold all things become new. You are now a new creation, and as you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, wrong perceptions are revealed, the past that has not forgotten you is exposed, and you are able to receive healing and restoration. Repent and renounce self-doubt, self-hatred, and misbeliefs about who you are, about your abilities; even in your weaknesses God will manifest His strength. Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is. Oh for grace to trust Him more – look for your security in heaven, not on earth.
Focus your energies on letting go of the past and look forward to what God has prepared for you – peace, hope and a future!
Copyright © Germaine Copeland 2003
Germaine Copeland is the author of the best selling book series, Prayers That Avail Much. She has written scriptural prayers for the family. Read your Bible, pray and attend church where you can soak up the love and faith of God. You will receive emotional healing, experience spiritual growth and become more intimately acquainted with your Heavenly Father, and your relationships will grow stronger.