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Blog - Looking Forward
It has been well said, "It's not where you've been, but where you're going that matters." Many Christians suffer with a lot of baggage in their past. Some were mentally or physically abused as children; some were rejected by parents, siblings, or friends in their youth; some have haunting memories of the sins of youth and adulthood. These haunting memories and experiences often shape our personalities and we identify ourselves by what we were in the past. This is why it is important to "train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Pro 22:6), and for children to "remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh..." (Ecc 12:1). It is a blessing indeed for it to be said of a person, "that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2Ti 3:15). But that is unfortunately not the case with many of us. Many a Christian has prayed the words of David, "Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD" (Psa 25:7), and the words of Asaph, "O remember not against us former iniquities..." (Psa 79:8). So what do you do if you struggle with memories of your sinful past or of memories of abuse that was inflicted on you? Stop looking back and start looking forward. If you are a Christian, God has forgiven your sins, as it is written, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psa 103:12), and God has forgotten about them, saying, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." (Isa 43:25). God has had compassion on us and cast our sins into the depth of the sea (Mic7:19) and forgotten them and therefore we must forget them too. Your parents may have forsaken you, but God won't, as the Psalmist said, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up" (Psa 27:10). God is "a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows..." (Psa 68:5), and "God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains..." (Psa 68:6). So start looking forward, not back at the sins and pain of your past. The apostle Paul "who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious" (1Ti 1:13) had a lot of sin and pain in his past, but he didn't spend his life looking back, nor did he let his past keep him from living a victorious Christian life in the present. He wrote to us and said, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phi 3:13-14). Don't look back; keep looking forward; keep looking up; "keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jud 1:21).