Living in the Past

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Memories can Haunt Us

As we pass through our lives we will pass through many valleys that hold memories of the “shadows of death” that David, King of Israel, spoke about in the well-known passage found in the 23rd Psalm. How we position these experiences in our memories will govern not only how we recall our past but how we face our future.

Our memories and how we recall them can liberate or imprison us. Past experiences can be used by Satan to remove hope or, on the other hand, by God’s Spirit to build faith. Sad enough many people live in the shadows of the past that cloud the hope God has for them in the present and future as their life unfolds.

We have the ability to recall the past with 20/20 vision. When we accurately recall the events in past experiences we have the capacity to see how God worked in our lives to bring about His will and purpose for us.

The Apostle Paul makes this comment about how we see our future:

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Co 13:12)

There will be a time when the “dark glass” will be wiped clean and we will “know” God and His purpose for our lives just as God knows our past, present and future for our lives.

We have the ability to view life as it passes and use the history of how God has worked in our lives to find the confidence to place faith in Him as we face the unknowns in the future. The prophet said:

“I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.” (Lam 3:1-2)

These words of the prophet reveal a dark and desperate frame of mind he was in. God had removed His favor from the children of Israel because of sin and they had been removed from the land God had promised they would possess.

When we fail in our attempts to please God, He does not abandon us but rather He walks through the “valley of the shadows” with us. King David said in his psalm:

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” (Psa 23:4)

We have many promises from God but one of the most empowering is found in these words:

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deu 31:6)

God’s promises are not like ours… He keeps them.

When God says He will “not fail” you, He means it. The Psalmist said:

“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” (Psa 139:7-8)

The same prophet that uttered the words of discouragement at his current state of condition said:

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lam 3:21-23)

Are you walking through a “valley of shadows?” If so, remember God’s compassions do not fail and are renewed in your life every day. Seek to remember God’s previous compassion and how He sustained you in the past as you see through the “dark glass” of the future to build your faith in God.

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