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FIRST-PERSON: When it’s good to forget

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–When it comes to our inward spiritual lives as well as God’s working in the world, we need to develop a certain sense of amnesia about the past and an anticipation of the future.

The prophet Isaiah wrote in chapter 43, verses 18-19, “Remember not the former things; do not consider things long past. Lo, I am about to do a new thing: now it is already springing up: haven’t you noticed it?” And Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

In regard to the past, we must remember what God has revealed about himself. But what we must not do is to live in the past and refuse to believe that God is about to do a new thing in our lives.

We can never go forward in life by looking backward. There are times when it is best to develop spiritual amnesia.

Can you dare to believe that God can do a new thing in your life?

If we are not careful, we can allow circumstances to cheat us out of believing that anything can ever be different, that we will always feel just like we do today. But faith believes that just around the corner there is a new relief from depression, a new freedom from habit, a new door of opportunity, a new place of ministry, a new insight into God’s will.

God’s new thing is never a disappointment. Every day, God does what modern businesses claim always to be trying to do — exceed expectations.

When we are about to despair that there is no way out of our present dilemma, the miracle of God’s presence in our lives is that he makes a way where there is no way. Is there a way out of the broken relationship in which you find yourself? out of guilt? out of despair? out of a dead-end, meaningless existence?

Absolutely! We do not have to fabricate, invent, synthesize or otherwise try to make resources that only God can give. He is the God who is always doing the new thing, making a way where there is no way and giving resources in the most unexpected ways and places. He is the God who makes all things new in this world and for all eternity.

What do you need to forget today that will allow you to move forward in anticipation of what he will do in your life?
Draper is president of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    About the Author

  • James T. Draper Jr.