Forgetting the past is not easy to do, but the following three steps will help you let go of the past so you are free to press on and serve God in the present.
Step 1: Discover the gold.
Whatever has happened to you in the past and whatever is happening in your life now, be sure you look for the “gold.” Trust God that somewhere in your trials there is gold for you—a hidden blessing, a lesson learned, or a character trait being forged! Find the “gold”—the good—and let go of the rest. Take it with you and move on!
Step 2: Find forgiveness.
If you were at fault or contributed to your trial, you need to find forgiveness. And that forgiveness comes from God: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1:9). In this truth you find forgiveness—a truth cost Christ His life. You are gloriously free to let go of the past and move on. As this wise saying goes, “Why should you remember what God has forgotten?”
Step 3: Forgive others.
Freedom is yours when you forgive those who have hurt you. Jesus modeled such forgiveness for us as, hanging on the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). When we fail to forgive others, we sentence ourselves to a life of bitterness. We also stop growing in faith. And we compromise our service and witness for Jesus. When we—by God’s grace—extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us, God can mightily use us.
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