Your past can bog you down. A memory can come back like a shot in the dark, dragging you back to places your mind does not want to go. Anything can be a trigger–a specific date, an old photo, a movie scene, something someone says–the list is wide and varied.

There are a lot of things that need to stay in the past.

There are things to be counted as a lesson learned from the past.

There are those things from the past which are simply part of life and getting you to this point in time.

Your Past Can Be Forgiven

Those¬†unforgiven things that haunt you, bringing shame, guilt, and regret are exactly what the enemy likes to bring into the present over and over again. Just when you think you’re over it and making progress, the enemy comes back at you with those type of things from the past.

My past includes some bad relationships. I don’t know about you, but I did some crazy things in the name of love. There’s not a day that goes by that the past doesn’t come to mind and this is what I’ve come to understand. Sometimes it’s about forgiving yourself. Sometimes it’s about forgiving someone else. More times than not in order to deal with something troubling from the past forgiveness plays a key role.

How Can This Be?

When you go to God with a contrite, repentant heart and ask for His forgiveness, He grants you forgiveness, right then and there. He won’t keep reminding you of your past, rubbing salt in old wounds. It’s done! And you need to be done with it, too. Don’t keep rehashing it, mulling it over, and dredging up again and again.

You can turn your past into a testimony of God’s grace, goodness, faithfulness, steadfast love and so much more. Your most crushing weapon in your arsenal is prayer. Pray and ask God to show you how you can share your story through writing, speaking, or an act of service.

“Yes, we’re all on a journey here. We’re not perfect. We all struggle. We can tell from the fatigue we feel and the stiffness in our spiritual joints that we haven’t always taken good care of ourselves. But prayer wakes us up with mercies from God that are ‘new every morning’ (Lam. 3:23). Prayer is how we start to stretch and feel limber again, feel loose, ready to take on the world. And when we start applying prayer to particular muscle groups–like our confidence in Christ and His victory over our past–our whole body and our whole being start to percolate with fresh energy, with the blood-pumping results of applied faith,” (Fervent,100-101).

Next Week

For Monday, read Strategy 5: Your Fears (pages 105-117)

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