PSALM 103:1-5 – Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE RIGHT WAY TO REMEMBER OUR PAST. It is one of those, “duh” statements pointing to the obvious – All of us have a past. But I mean more than the obvious. All of us have a past that consists of two things. No one has a past of neutrality. Each of has a past that is filled with many positive memories, positive accomplishments, positive moments, and positive relationships. Each of us also has a past that is far from perfect and positive. Yes, some may have more of those “past dark times” we don’t want to remember or be made known but find me a person who has no regrets, no remorse, or no sadness over something said in the past, something done in the past, or something that through bad choices and decisions occurred in the past. We won’t find such a person. Such an individual doesn’t exist because all people are sinners and sinners, all of them, have a past that contains some shame and regret. And all that leads to the theme of the day – the right way to remember our past. We will look at this with a contrast – the wrong way, then the right way, to handle our past.
First, the wrong way to look at our past is to focus on all our failures, sins, willful acts of disobedience to the Lord, and the many times we made unwise decisions by choosing the world over the Word and prayer. And here is where the devil is ever ready to assist us on thinking on our past through the lens of failure. John writes of him in the Revelation – And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God (Revelation 12:10). What does this evil fiend accuse us of? Our past sins. Our past failures. Listen to him, and your own conscience and rest assured, we will mire ourselves in the pits of regret and remorse, never enjoying the Lord and His forgiveness of our past. The past will define us and not in a way that pleases the Lord and promotes our walk with Him. However, there is another way to look at our past – the right way, God’s way.
When looking at the past, strive to see it through the lens of God’s grace that includes His providential protection, His providential provisions, His merciful forgiveness, His loving patience, His unwavering faithfulness, and His covenant commitment. If we learn to do this, we will see our God as He really is and our trust in Him for today and tomorrow will grow. God always deals with our past through His character, not our ever-changing emotions and too frequent forgetfulness. And this is the right way to honor Him – seeing the past as He does and responding with praise and thanksgiving for His faithfulness to us because He is faithful to Himself.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your faithfulness to me not only today, but for all my life, even when I doubted You.”
QUOTE: “Don’t look to the past through the lens of your failing the Lord, but through His faithfulness not failing you.”