Let’s face it, most of have had moments, days, months, or even years that we would like to erase and redo. If we could simply go back and do it again, most of us could think of at least one or two periods of time when a large eraser would come in very handy. The only problem is that that eraser does not exist. There is nothing we can do to take back what has happened, or avoid the repercussions of some of our choices–no matter how desperately we want to.
But as a follower of Christ, we do have His power to erase our past guilt through the forgiveness afforded us by the blood of our risen Saviour. In Acts 3:19 we are encouraged to “repent therefore, and turn again, that our sins may be blotted out.” We CAN know that through this amazing grace we are able to release our past sinful choices to God, whose merciful forgiveness through Christ will wash us clean from all sin and shame. (1 John 1:9) We may not have a giant eraser, but we can be confident that, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” (Ps. 103:12)
And it is not only our sin that we can be free from, but we can release past mistakes, misguided choices, and accidental situations as well. Romans is very clear “that we can know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (8:28) No matter what has transpired, He will use it. He will not waste anything.
So in essence, for a Christ follower there is no good reason to look behind us for too long. It certainly is beneficial to allow the Spirit of the Living God to shine light on some of our past choices. He will take us by the hand to see with unveiled eyes what dark hallways lay within our hearts in order for us to heal, but there is never a need to dwell or get stuck in our past, or allow our past to cripple us today. We must know that for those in Christ we have already been made new. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Simply put, we must learn to take our eyes off of ourselves, our sin, our failings, and our inadequacy and focus them solely on Christ, “pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14) And like Paul, we must not consider that we have made it (perfection) our own. But one thing we must do: forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. (3:13) We must always remember that it is His righteousness that gives us life and hope and never our own. (2 Cor. 5:21) If we are waiting to rest on our own righteousness, we will be waiting for an eternity.
Will there still be repercussions for what has happened in our past? Maybe. Will a mistake or sin from our past still cost us that relationship, our health, a job, or even our freedom? Perhaps. But we can have confidence that God is sovereign, no matter what the costs are now. We rest in the fact that, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. (Lam. 3:22) With our eyes on Him, and off of ourselves and our past, Christ will keep us in perfect peace as we gaze at Him. (Isa. 26:3)
Friends– we have a brand new beginning each time we look at our Saviour! Each time we confess our sin, bring Him our burdens, or praise Him in the storms of life, we start afresh in Him! Let us celebrate today this great mercy from our Father in Heaven. Each new day, let us sharpen the sword of the Spirit as we remember His Word. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)
There is always a new beginning for those who are in Christ Jesus.