Leaving the Past Behind

Hello everyone,
When I first started this project, I was trying to get it out on Wednesday, but over time it has moved to Monday. I now have to make sure it is out before Monday noon in order to meet the newspaper column deadline. I wonder, does this mean procrastination must end at some point?
It was a good week. The weather was fair, our extra piano found a new home, Alex and I went to a Pheasants Forever banquet, and Sunday worship was very well attended.
Sometimes I notice things that get in my thoughts and won’t go away. When that happens, I feel the Lord may be prompting me to address the issue. One that has been bugging me this week is people who seem to continually live in the past. Sometimes it is yearning for the “good old days.” Others don’t seem to be able to get past a family tragedy, or some other kind of personal issue. We do mourn, and grief is a natural part of who we are, but I believe at some point a person must move on.
Living in the past–what does the Bible say? The apostle Paul said this: “This one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the prize…” (Philippians 3:13). I don’t believe Paul is saying we shouldn’t remember the past, but that we don’t live there, and we don’t let the past keep us from going forward with our lives. God has called us to a future.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God’s message to his people is this: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” This does not mean we will be spared pain, suffering or hardship, but that God will see us through to a glorious conclusion.
Finally, for the Christian who is experiencing grief, Paul indicates that we do not grieve as those who do not know Jesus Christ. He says, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep (die), or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). The rest of that passage (verses 14-17) offers words of great encouragement for those who know and love the Lord.
The past is behind us, and even with trials and struggles yet to come, we have a glorious hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let these words encourage you today.

In His Love,
Pastor Jerry

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