Don’t let the pain of the past predict your future. God doesn’t. All of us have experienced disappointments and made mistakes we wish we hadn’t. We have all probably suffered loss or hurt, and maybe some of us have had tremendous trials or tragedies that have marked our past. The good news is that God is the healer of all of our pain. He is bigger than all of our mistakes. His mercies are new every morning. His love covers our sins. He desires to and will bring us redemption for every wrong that has marked our lives, whether of our own doing or by the hands of other people. In His hands, our pain is turned into precious pearls in our future. He turns our mistakes into a master work that can be used for His purposes and for His glory. No matter what has happened in our past, He will not only help us to heal, but He will cause something good to come out of it, if we let Him.
What is it that brings you pain or sorrow? Lay it at the foot of the cross. Jesus has already walked your walk. He has already gone to the cross and been raised in victory so that you do not have to be a victim to hurtful memories of the past. One time, when I was particularly upset about some things that had occurred in my past, the Lord told me to do something. He told me to take whatever was troubling me, and in my mind’s eye to place it into a box, to tie the box shut and walk up and lay it at the foot of the cross, leaving it to Him, and to never again let the devil taunt me with the trouble of yesterday. He told me I didn’t have to carry the burdens of my past mistakes and hurts. So, don’t pick that box of burdens back up. He has forgiven us, you see, and has come to redeem and heal us. The devil wants you to live in the shadow of shame, but God has destined you to live under the shadow of His wings. The devil offers you pain and misery of unforgiveness – toward others and toward yourself – but God offers you the protection and His covering. He covers you with His love. The Word says love covers a multitude of sin, and that’s what He offers us every day – not condemnation, ridicule, shame, more pain – but love, life, peace, joy, mercy, grace, and triumph!
Take the pain of your past wrongs and throw it into the sea of forgetfulness. God has! He does not hold your wrongs against you. Recognize the wrong, and let Him forgive you. Remember the woman caught in the act of adultery? Did Jesus throw the first stone? No! He said, “You who are without sin, cast the first stone,” and all of the woman’s accusers walked away. That’s a beautiful example of the fact that we can forgive others and we should forgive ourselves. Let Him free you of your burdens. He wants you to be free, free of self-criticism or condemnation, free of self-pity, free of the judgement of others. How do you do that? Accept His perfect love for you. He loves you with an everlasting love, not a critical eye. You are His beautiful creation! See yourself the way He sees you…not marked by mistakes, but full of wonderful potential and something beautiful to offer this world! That’s what He sees in you. He does not define you by the trouble in your past, but by the fruit He sees in your future, and by the fact that Jesus paid the price for every sin in this world and every mistake you would ever make. Jesus died so that you could walk in freedom from the accusations of the devil. Scripture calls the devil the accuser of the brethren (..). He is the oppressor, but God is our forgiver, our faithful Father, our radical redeemer, our healer, our burden bearer, our mercy Man. Who would you rather listen to? When the devil comes to accuse you or shame you, tell him to get under Jesus’ feet. Tell him you can’t hear him, because you only listen to the truth and not to his lies. Remind him he has been defeated and you are covered by the Blood and mercy of Jesus. Jesus died so you could walk free from the weight of every sin, mistake, pain, oppression, and torment. Jesus died so that you could walk in complete freedom! Jesus died so you could see yourself the way God sees you. Jesus died because He loves you, mistakes and all. Walk through the open door of God’s love and mercy for you, and throw off the shackles of the past.
Pastor Lisa Marie