As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across a scripture I have read many times. In fact, I went back through four different Bibles and I had highlighted this scripture in each one. Although I have obviously read the scripture and it apparently stood out to me, this morning….on this day, it was as if I read it for the first time.
You see, I’ve had a rough year. So much has happened this year. Heartbreaking, life-changing things have happened. It would be easy for me to look back on all I’ve been through and allow myself to get stuck in the trials. To throw a big ole pity party. Nurse those wounds just enough to function, yet keeping them open to the pain, hurt, and anger.
The problem with nursing those wounds, hanging on to hurtful words, clinging for dear life to each and every instance you feel you have been mistreated……….is that it takes over your life. Your problems and trials aren’t something you are dealing with for a moment. They become who you are. They claim your joy and can rob you of peace. When your spirit is filled with bitterness, anger, and malice, there is no room for love.
And it’s not just the actions and hurts of others that can gain this victory over us. Often, we inflict these feelings on ourselves. Maybe we have made poor choices. In recognizing them, we inflict a punishment of self-loathing and self-condemnation. We can with-hold forgiveness from ourselves for our poor choices and sin in our life.
No matter the source of your struggle, it’s important to recognize this is not all there is. Life is about so much more than holding on to hurt. This verse I stumbled across by chance (I was reading in Psalm and came across it in Isaiah as I was flipping through pages.) tells us not to dwell on the past. To forget the former things. I see this as explicit permission, even a command to let it go. Why? Because freedom is found in forgiveness. Freedom for your soul. It frees you up to move on with your life. To look forward to a positive, hopeful future.
The scripture then goes on to say that God is doing a NEW thing. He has something NEW for us waiting. And I assure you, when God has something for you, it’s something good. No, something AMAZING. The key is looking forward, taking a step away from the hurts of the past, and finding hope. God has something better for you. Are you ready to receive it?
I urge you to search your heart for those old hurts that hold you back. Pray for freedom and forgiveness so that you will be ready for the new things God has waiting for you. Pray for me as I set out on the same endeavor. Victory is found in following Him. And I’m ready for it!