Letting go of the past is, well, not so easy. Looking back over my life, I could list numerous regrets and sins which I would be ashamed to admit; in fact, some of those things have been hard to release from memory. Although I have sought God’s forgiveness from my past sins, I still find it complicated to forgive myself. How could I be so stupid? Why did I let that area slip? I knew better. This morning as I was sitting down to pray and study for my Sunday message at The Summit, something from my past popped into my head out of nowhere. At first I wondered, “Where did that come from?” In that moment, I began an honest prayer to God and claimed His forgiveness. I know God had already forgiven me, but all the memories flooded my mind again. Through the years, especially when regret plagues my soul, I have often reminded myself that the past changes for no one. The page has been turned. Yesterday is out of reach.
If your past cannot be altered, why have you been so consumed with it? Don’t get me wrong, I understand that sin brings consequences, but does God really desire for you to live in a continual state of regret for things you cannot change? I really do not think so. Once you have turned from sin (repented) and received God’s forgiveness, you must release the sin. Isaiah wrote concerning this very topic, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
Listen, you have done some terribly stupid things in the past. So have I. God knew you would break His commandments and sometimes stray away from Him, so He took drastic measures 2,000 years ago when He treated His own Son, Jesus, as if He had committed those sins you actually committed. Those very sins which have consumed your life, have been shouldered by Jesus Christ. He shouldered that divorce. He shouldered that lie. He shouldered your perversion. He shouldered your secret sin. He shouldered your cheating. He shouldered your deception. He shouldered your failings as a parent. He shouldered that lust. He shouldered that bitterness.
There are a few things you should know about my past, but thankfully my past has been erased.