By Virginia Brandt Berg
As we stand before the portals of the New Year, we don’t know what it’s going to bring. Although we sometimes wish we could, God has made it so we can’t pull aside the curtains of the future and see what is in store, and I’m happy to leave it at that because I know He knows best.
There’s one thing we do know, though, and this is that we can leave behind the past with all of its cares and frets and its pains and heartaches and mistakes and blunders. Isn’t that wonderful!
All that the past year holds of wrong or right, regret or sorrow is in God’s hand. If we truly trust Him, He can bring sweet waters out of the bitter desert of the past, no matter what it was.
In this new year, He can give you beauty for ashes and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, the joy of the morning for the woe of the night (Isaiah 61:3; Psalm 30:5). He promises, “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). So if you’re His child and truly yielded to His plan for you—if you are one of those who love God and are the called according to His purpose—He can make it all work out for good!
How many people claim they are trusting God, but still worry about the blots and stains on the pages of their past! They never rejoice in the fullness of God’s forgiveness and mercy, in His promise that He has blotted out their sins. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
It isn’t God’s way to go back and retrace the past: You can’t relive that past, and who would want to when the future is so bright with wonderful promises? When I think about this new year ahead, I think about all the promises of God that we can claim and how bright the picture can be. What wonderful things can happen—miracles of faith because His unchanging Word is there for us.
Jesus stands with outstretched arms blocking the way to the past. And because of the penalty He paid for your sins, the Bible says we should forget the things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are before, as we “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV).
There is no redemptive price for that past, but there is redemption for you! Jesus redeemed you and you’re clean from all the past. What a pity if we carry the burden of the past when the Lord paid such a price to lift that burden and set us free!
I wonder if there is anything more wonderful than the miracle of forgiveness—the assurance of having your sins forgiven. It’s for all of us! He died for all of us! All you have to do is reach out and take it—receive Him as your Savior and accept His forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). He has promised this and He cannot break His Word.
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