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Don't Live in the Unchangeable Past

1 Peter 1:7, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."

No one shoul live in the world of "I could of, I would of, I should of," because there's always something you thought you could have done to make things better. But God only knows the things that would have happened, had the things that happened, hadn't happened.

It is very easy to live in a world of guilt or remorse, thinking that if we had only done something different in the past that our life today would be much better. But that is an impossible scenario because you don't know what would have happened if the things that happened hadn't happened. Believe me, things could have turned out much worse (or better, but then you wouldn't have learned the life's lessons that God intended for you to learn).

In fact, 1st Peter 1:7 teaches that the struggles and problems in one's life are worth more than gold (which is presently selling for about $20,000 per pound). "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." How many Christians in the world today truly understand this Scripture and take it to heart? I think not many.

Certainly, I am not thankful FOR the constant suffering I endure from pain in my neck, arms and legs; but I am thankful to God IN my suffering. 1st Thessalonians 5:18, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Carefully notice that God teaches us as believers in 1st Thessalonians 5:18 to be thankful "IN everything," and not necessarily FOR everything. I am not thankful when my car breaks down; but I am thankful to God that I have a car to break down and the ability to drive it. The Christian's mindset ought to be one of continuous GRATITUDE toward God. People who complain all the time aren't grateful enough for the blessings in their life.

I fully realize that God is using this physical suffering to humble me and mold me into a better Christian. I love what the Bible says in Isaiah 64:8, "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." Amen! God is the Potter and we are the clay.

The past is gone and we cannot alter it. What's done is done. The past is all "water under the bridge" as the saying goes and there's nothing we can do to undo it. Whatever mistakes, sins or shortcomings you may have had (or thought you had) are forever history. If there's one thing that we learn from God's Word, it is that God is a forgiving God, merciful and willing to pardon sinners (Isaiah 1:18; 55:7; Acts 10:43; 1st John 1:9). Although people will never allow you live down past mistakes or bad decisions, all that matters is what God thinks.

In the Old Testament, king David stole a man's wife (Bathsheba) and then killed her husband (Uriah) to hide the unintended pregnancy (2nd Samuel 11:1-17). David repented several months later when confronted by Nathan the prophet (2nd Samuel 12:13). The child died as punishment from God and David's house fell to ruin because of his sins. David had many enemies who condemned him until the day he died, but David stood strong for the Lord and moved forward. David didn't commit suicide or become vindictive toward his enemies. Instead, God used David to pen the beautiful Psalms. David discovered God's forgiving grace and compassion in a way he never could have envisioned if it weren't for his blundered life. God can take even the mistakes in the believer's life and use them for his glory.

Whoever you may be, don't live in the unchangeable past. God has a purpose and plan for your life. Romans 8:28 teaches "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Carefully notice that the Bible says all things WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD; it doesn't say that all things would be good. We know as believers that God will make everything in our life turn out for good one day. Only God can take all the bad and good in one's life and use it for His glory. When Jesus returns at the Rapture to gather all believers into the clouds to meet with Him, the Bible says we will receive a new body, incorruptible, without sin and we will forever be with the Lord (1st Corinthians 15:52-54; 1st Thessalonians 4:17). Amen and amen!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

by David J. Stewart


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