â€œYesterday ended last nightâ€
– John Maxwell
â€œIâ€™m trading my sorrowsâ€¦ Iâ€™m trading my shameâ€¦ Iâ€™m laying them down for the Joy of the Lordâ€¦
Iâ€™m trading my sicknessâ€¦ Iâ€™m trading my painâ€¦ Iâ€™m laying them down for the Joy of the Lordâ€¦
Though the sorrow may last for the nightâ€¦ Joy comes in the morning!â€
Remember that when you begin to tear yourself down for what youâ€™ve messed up in the pastâ€¦ because that is exactly what it isâ€¦ your PAST. Itâ€™s over. Itâ€™s dead. Itâ€™s buried. Itâ€™s forgottenâ€¦ It is the morning of a new life, and JOY is here, because the Lord is here!
God, in His mercy, grace, and wisdom, has forgotten your past. Why donâ€™t you move on too?
I want to show you something. Check this outâ€¦
Romans 8:35-39 â€“ NASB Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) Just as it is written, â€œFOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.â€ (37) But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Do me a favor and look at that long list of things that Paul says canâ€™t separate us from the Love of Godâ€¦ notice thisâ€¦ â€œnor things present, nor things to comeâ€¦â€
Notice he didnâ€™t say â€œthings pastâ€¦â€? Why didnâ€™t he mention that? If our past is forgotten and God has forgiven it, why didnâ€™t Paul mention that our past couldnâ€™t separate us from the Love of God?
Because it canâ€¦ our past CAN, and WILL separate us from the Love of God, if we allow it toâ€¦ why? Because we canâ€™t forgive ourselves.
Let me ask you somethingâ€¦.What happens when we hold unforgiveness in our heart toward someone else? Think about thatâ€¦ itâ€™s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It will kill usâ€¦
So what makes us think that it wonâ€™t do even MORE to us when we refuse to forgive ourselves for our own mistakes? Why do we think itâ€™s ok to hold on to our past mistakes, when weâ€™re not allowed to hold on to the past mistakes of others?
Thatâ€™s why Paul saidâ€¦
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, (14) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (2) fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Forget what is behind you. Leave it where it isâ€¦ Itâ€™s buried in the grave through baptismâ€¦ and press on. Fix your eyes forward on Jesus Christ Himself, Who is already where we are heading. Never take your eyes off of Himâ€¦ Always push ahead, and never look behind, except to remind yourself of where God has brought you from.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Jesus is all of those, and moreâ€¦ The more you contemplate, meditate, and concentrate on Him, the further and further you separate yourself from your past in your mindâ€¦ and the more of the Lordâ€™s Joy you will allow to flow in your heart and life.
Ron Lennex is involved in the multiedia/video ministry at Christian Life Church in Austin, TX