Monday 15 April 2013


Are we to completely forget the past?

The apostle Paul reminds us to forget the past and to press on towards a higher goal:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Indeed if we look back at our past failures, we will be dejected. If we dwell on our past successes, we might become proud. Nevertheless there are good reasons why we should spend time reflecting on the past.

But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
    I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
    I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

(Psalm 77:11-12)


Recalling God’s mercies in our life keeps us humble. If not for His grace, where will we stand? “LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you” (Psalm 130: 3-4).

Next, we recall the goodness of God, how He has blessed us in so many ways: health, provision of our material needs, family and the community of believers. We need to do this often  whether as an individual, as a family or as a church  as we tend to be forgetful. Counting our blessings, naming them one by one, is a powerful way of telling God that we are grateful that He is so loving and generous.

After the Israelites crossed the river Jordan, Joshua instructed them to take twelve stones from the river and set them up on land as a memorial (Joshua 4:1-7). This was not only to commemorate the crossing but to remind the people of the miraculous power of God. If they face any trials in future, these memorial stones will remind them of God’s deliverance

Even today we should set up our own memorial stones to help us sail through the storms of life. When adversity strikes, we can dig in and cling on to God’s faithfulness. These stones remind us that, as He has been faithful to us in the past, He will continue to be so  now and in future.

We need to maintain a balance between looking back and looking ahead.

When we consider that our car rear view mirror is much smaller than the windshield, we are reminded of the fact that the future is more important than the past. 

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