Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:13–14
How can you forget the past? By God’s grace. What is grace? It is free, undeserved favor or blessing. Here is what the Bible says about the grace of God given to you when you become a Christian:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1–2
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16–17
Confirmation that this grace exists in the Christian’s life is found in the following Scriptures:
When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. Acts 11:23
So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32
God Says Forget the Past
God says, “Forget the past.” Forget it! What God is doing is in front of you. Think about that for a moment. Thirty seconds ago doesn’t exist anymore. Your whole future is in front of you. What God will and can do is ahead of you. What does the Bible say about this?
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:12–14
“I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters, who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick): “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isa. 43:15–19
Forget About It!
Forget the past. If you have trouble with this concept then just look ahead instead: the view is better. God can change whatever effect the past has had on you. Do not limit your belief. Have faith in God.
I once taught a message about forgetting the past. During my preparation, the Holy Spirit inspired me with these thoughts, “Don’t base anything or any way you think God might do things on your past experience. Look forward and think of the past as nonexistent.” Let’s do that. Let’s look to the future trusting in God Almighty.
Good Things to Come?
God wants to bless you and is more than able to do so. Realize this.
Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed. Josh. 23:14
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isa. 52:7
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Cor. 9:8
What If…You Have Misunderstood What God Is Doing in Your Life?
There are times when we don’t understand what God is doing in our lives. We can’t really see the direction God is taking.
Have you ever thought somebody didn’t like you because they ignored you, only to find out that they didn’t even see you? You went through this ridiculous depression over the whole thing for no reason at all. This is similar to what can happen in our walk with God. Sometimes we misunderstand circumstances, leading us to misunderstand what God is doing.
What If…God Can Change What the Bad in Your Life Has Done?
God can cause your feelings, thoughts, moods, and emotions to change. He can change your circumstances. Statements such as “God doesn’t like me;” “God has something against me;” “God doesn’t care;” “God let this terrible thing happen to me” are simply untrue. God loves you and He is a good God. He can and will help.
What If…God Didn’t Do It?
Man’s will and his own evil desires can be the cause of different circumstances and events. God is the One who can free you from the effects of your past.
God loves you. He will help you if you ask Him. God is moving by His Spirit the minute you ask in faith, in Jesus’ name, believing in His promises. Just because you can’t see what He is doing doesn’t mean He isn’t working.
As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. Eccles. 11:5
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Think about what God can do!
What’s the Point?
- If it feels like I can’t forget, I can still pray that God will give me grace to forget. I want to forget the past. I want to look ahead.
- I will look forward. I will not look back.
- God is the Creator. He can help me with the entire process.
- I can forget what God says to forget.
- I will begin a new day, looking ahead.