Trust God and let go of the past. Looking back with disappointment or regret is a waste of your time and it’s keeping you from God’s best. Stop doing it!
Let me get the heavy stuff out of the way. If sin keeps you stuck in the way-back machine, then confess and turn away from it (1 John 1:9). This faithful, humble act will remove any impediments you are sensing in your personal connection to Jesus. Remember, though He did not sin, Jesus experienced weakness and temptation as a man on earth. Because of that, He sympathizes with us, even stepping into our suffering, so we are not alone. Now, then, go to Him with confidence, and there find His grace and mercy. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Be encouraged, my friend. Jesus is waiting for your return, so you don’t need to look back. Instead, scripture tells us to look straight ahead (Proverbs 4:25) with confidence in Christ (Philippians 1:6).
Maybe fear is holding you back. Why not pray and find out why you can’t trust God because that is the root of fear. We don’t believe God can do what He says He can do for us, personally. We might believe it for everyone else, just not us. Well, that is what the enemy wants you to think. So, why do we believe this lie? Friend, that’s a question for you to sort out with God, but don’t delay.
It’s ok to look back at the good things that came out of bad circumstances. This is a way of reminding us what God makes from our messes. On the other hand, the consequences of sin in our lives often lead to disappointment and regret, but we learn and move forward with repentance. God is faithful. So let’s get going. There is no time to waste.
Getting out of the rearview mirror
I’ve chosen a few verses that help me put one foot in front of the other when I’m stuck looking in my rearview mirror too long. I’m counting on them to help you, too. So, let’s be intentional in this “letting go” process by doing the heart-work. It takes constant practice but it is so worth the effort! So, encourage yourself by focusing on what God will do.
The good news is, as we mature in Christ, he trains us to distinguish good from evil that seeks to hurt us (Hebrews 5:14). As a result, we learn to make better choices, trusting God more and more, living in confidence because of His faithfulness.
Help to let go of the past
Fix your gaze directly before you
Proverbs 4:25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
In other words, don’t look back. We can’t undo the past, reel in words we let escape, undo the bad decisions or their lasting effects. Nope, do-overs don’t count.
What we can do is live a redeemed life. Christ died so you could live (John 3:16). So live!
We can mourn our yesterdays, but this only feeds today’s disappointment. So let’s not live there. Instead, let’s learn from our yesterdays while we live today and hope for tomorrow (Rom 15:13). Take it from someone who is working hard to stay unstuck. I’m coaching myself to trust God and let go of the past just as much as I encourage you to do the same. Releasing it is the key to moving forward.
Psalm 55:22a Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders – He’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. (MSG)
Releasing whatever IT is from your past or present circumstances won’t get easier until you start doing it. Getting and staying in the bible helps. Go ahead, relax your grip, open your hand, and give it to Jesus. You can do it in His strength (Phil 4:13). You may have to release your troubles over and over again before finally letting them go. So, keep doing it. Sooner or later, your troubles won’t be the dominating factor in your thinking. You won’t think of them quite so often anymore because you’ll be busy looking forward.
Stop the replay
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my steps; it lights the path before me. (The Voice)
Be careful in your thinking (Prov 4:23). When you hear the coulda-woulda-shoulda tapes start replaying in your head, the enemy would like nothing better than for you to keep listening. Hit the eject button! You have the power (2 Tim 1:7) to turn it off. Then toss it out the window. Just don’t trip over it later. It’s gone, no do-overs, only forward.
Here’s the thing, we all have only so much time here in this world, so why waste it in the way back machine? Now go! Now go! Instead, fix your gaze directly before you and, by faith, take one step at a time. There’s a path that the Lord has planned just for you (Prov. 4:26).
Make the most of your time
Psalm 90:12 Teach us how short our life is so that we may become wise. (GNT)
Why is it so hard to let it go? You can do it. Start with prayer.
Release the tension.
Relax your grip.
Open your hand.
Could you give it to Jesus?
He is waiting for you.
With prayer and practice, you can do it (Phil 4:13).
Offer praise and worship for what God is going to do in your life. Now, you have something to look forward to.
Trust God because He is trustworthy, friend. Know whose you are as a chosen and beloved child of God. So, why not do the good work? Learn to trust God and let go of the past, living confidently in Christ today, and fully expecting Him to show up tomorrow? Just make sure you show up too, not allowing yourself to stay stuck in sin or fear any longer.
We’ve learned that it takes practice and that staying close to God through prayer, worship and His word is important to the “letting go” process. When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:8), energizing us for what comes next. So with that in mind, why wouldn’t you keep practicing?
Click here for more on practicing trust in God (a.k.a God-confidence).
Click here to learn more about our identity in Christ.