Focus verses: Isaiah 43:16-25
Wallowing in the regrets of the past is counterproductive. When we keep thinking about what is gone or lost, what we have done or have failed to do, we have neither room nor energy for going forward and developing the new things that God has planned for our lives.
God wants us not to dwell in the past. He specifically asks us to look for the new things He is doing. In the old hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” we sing in the chorus “Morning by morning new mercies I see.” That’s the ticket.
Thomas O. Chisholm, the writer of the lyrics of this hymn, evidently knew very well God’s desires as expressed in our focus verses. The hymn is filled only with evidence of God’s faithfulness. Nothing of man’s past appears until you get to the third verse: “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.”
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. At one of the hardest times in my life, when I thought grief would drown me in the sea of sorrow, that hymn would well up from the middle of my spirit, and I would be comforted.
Verse 25. “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” God distinctly remembers forgetting our sins when we have confessed them. He doesn’t hold them against us once we have dealt with them. Each confessional brings a new beginning. The slate has been cleaned. And God can write upon our lives the new things He has planned for us.
We thank You that You are so generous with us, that You want the past to be the past and not some chain to hold back the future. Help us to rid ourselves of the arrogance that our memories are more important than Yours. If You forget, help us to forget — not the lesson learned — but the sin itself.