“I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” (Psalm 77:11).
I’ve known many women who have struggled with the if-only’s of their past … If only I had attended school … If only I had made a different decision … If only ….
For many years after I accepted Christ, I thought, “If only I had become a Christian sooner!” I reasoned that if I’d known Jesus sooner, I would have had God’s guidelines for marriage and for raising our two daughters. The almost ten years of marriage before I knew Christ were rough years indeed. And adding two children hadn’t helped! Can you relate?
If-only thinking is counterproductive. It breeds regret, and remorse, because it is impossible to change the past. We must follow God’s Word and deal with what is now, true, and real … what is happening today. There is no value in rehashing the past. And when we succumb to if-only thinking, we fail to acknowledge God’s role in our past.
Romans 8:28-29 is God’s promise that He will overrule the bad of the past and use it for good to make us more like Christ. By His transforming power, God will redeem even the most painful and perplexing moments of your past.
While it’s not healthy to ponder the negatives of our past, it’s good to note these exceptions to reflections on your past. It is good to …
Remember lessons learned from our past mistakes. Those lessons grow us in wisdom.
Recall God’s past wondrous works and faithfulness. Our faith is strengthened when we recount how God sustained and carried us through our trials.
Scripture encourages us to meditate on God’s goodness in the past whenever the trials of the present feel overwhelming. “I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old” (Psalm 77:11). The next time you’re tempted to entertain if-only thinking and look back at your past with regret… instead recall and give thanks for God’s faithfulness!
Lord, I can be hard on myself for past choices I made. Thank You that You have forgiven me and You love me. Please help me release the past and embrace Your good plan for my life. Guide me through this new year according to Your will and ways. Amen.
A Woman After God’s Own Heart helps you experience real peace and joy as you follow God in every area of your life–and become a woman after His heart. With warmth and grace, Elizabeth shares practical, scriptural insights in this book on how you can pursue God’s priorities.
What are three ways I can recount God’s faithfulness to me in past difficulties?
God was with you in the past … He is with you in the present … and He will be with you tomorrow (Psalm 73:23-24).