Leave the Past in the Past - Pearls of Promise

Leave the Past in the Past

rearview mirror

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Our past shapes us but it should not paralyze us. While I am a forward thinker, I can sometimes let the past overtake me as I press on into what God has prepared for me.

Do you do that?

Past dysfunction, past hurts, past relationships gone awry. As my mind spins backwards, my emotions also plant themselves in the past and I begin to relive a time that God either healed me of or brought me out of.

Why is it so difficult to forget the former things?

Instead of embracing the new thing God is doing in our lives and showing gratitude, we have the past super glued to our brains and let it create a heavy weight for all to see.

But, we can’t let the past rule us.

I just had the opportunity to see a presentation by actor, Glen Morshower, called “The Extra Mile.” Morshower, a character actor, has scores of movie credits and television shows on his resume. He most recently portrayed Agent Pierce on the show “24.” However, Morshower gives back through a one-man show he created. With a Christian undercurrent and humor, he presented his positive philosophy about life through his own personal experiences and stories. Morshower briefly discussed a troubled past. He shared he had a difficult childhood but does not dwell on it. Then he gave an analogy I will forever tuck away:

“There’s a reason why the rearview mirror in a car is so small and the windshield is so large.”

What’s ahead is more important than what’s behind. I will never look at my car the same again.

This week, in my accountability group, I shared some distressing family news, but also had an opportunity to speak about some exciting ministry news. My friend in the group said, “See, there was a time that you were just as distressed about what was going on in ministry and God took care of that. He will take care of your family situation as well.”

She was right. Did I not perceive it?

God was doing a new thing in my life and the past was in the rearview mirror. The future was expansive and hopeful.

Do you dwell on the past rather than on how the Lord has brought you out of it? Is there a current situation bringing you down?

Try flipping your thought process. Praise God for how he brought you through the trial and for the new thing he did in your life. Then praise him in advance for how he will bring you through the current difficulty.

Yes, I believe God uses our troubles to shape us, but once he brings us out of them, we should press into the positive. When we hold onto the past, it’s a waste of time and energy.

God loves you. He will not let you toil away in the valley for too long. If you are in the thick of a trial right now, trust he is preparing a new thing for you. Once he brings you through it, don’t look back, except to see how far he’s brought you.

Categories: Archived Devotions


  • Barbara

    Good blog, Lisa. God is challenging me to have the courage to reach out to senior adults who are living in the past because they feel they have nothing to contribute today. I’ve just published a book of poems for seniors entitled “You’re Not Too Old”. Please pray for me to know how to put this challenge into the hands of more senior citizens. Barbara

    • lbworley

      Barbara, I am praying for you as you pursue this new ministry. Yes, the past gets larger and longer as we get older but the same principle applies. Blessings to you!

  • Brenda Zurita

    What an awesome word. Thank you for sharing. The past can truly paralyze us from moving forward if we allow it. If we dwell and give power to it, it will keep us feeling sentiments that are no longer valid in the here and now.
    I am going through some hard times myself, and knowing the past has crippled me at times. Today I stand free to receive the newness of the redemptive power of God and allowing myself to trust the unknown, which at this moment is resumed into trusting God with my future.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • lbworley

      Brenda, thank you for your comment. It is so important to trust God with our future, especially since he’s redeemed us from many of our past trials. We can never forget how he rescues us!

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