DEBUT (Part 2 of 4) – The Past

DEBUT (Part 2 of 4) – The Past

This four part devotion focuses on the outlook Christians should maintain concerning the past, the present and the future. Part 1, posted on February 23, provided an introduction to this series and presented our primary text (Psalm 63).

Part 2: Appreciate the Past (We can’t Change Yesterday)

Getting stuck in the past is a waste of time and can become a very unhealthy preoccupation. This can apply to positive memories (defining yourself today by accomplishments from the past) and negative experiences (drowning in regrets from days gone by).

However, forgetting the past is very dangerous. Consider the following statements. A fool does not learn from their mistakes. Someone who is intelligent learns from their mistakes. A wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

Learning from the past is very important. We should reflect on our successes, failures, blessings and hurts and then apply what we learn. The Bible provides many opportunities to learn from the experiences of others. This is one of the reasons God so openly shares both the triumphs and tragedies of the past.

Additionally, we often connect with God today by remembering His works from yesterday. Our faith and confidence in God are strengthened when we acknowledge and appreciate the awesome ways He has moved in the past.  

The Power of Yesterday (The Testimony of God’s Faithfulness)

In Psalm 63, verses 6 – 8 deal with a proper perspective of the past.

6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
  • Remember what God has done for you – Joshua 4:4-7
    • The nation of Israel erected 12 stones as a physical reminder of the marvelous works of God.
7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
  • He has helped you, met your needs – Exodus 17:1-7
    • God provided water from a rock as the Jews traveled from the Red Sea towards Sinai.
  • He has protected you – Exodus 14:26-29
    • God parted the Red Sea, and after the Nation of Israel passed through, the water overwhelmed and destroyed the Egyptians pursuing them.
8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
  • As you sought diligently after Him, His power kept you from falling – Psalm 116:8
    • Our God sustains us!
We all have a past. We cannot change it. So, no matter how difficult it seems, by the grace and love of Christ, take the good, the bad and the ugly from yesterday and use it as fuel to power positive change in your life today and tomorrow, all for the glory of God. For with God, all things are possible (Mark 10:27).  

Prayer

Loving Father and King, I have made the mistakes of boasting about the successes in my past and drowning in the sorrow of the failures and hurts. But in You there is healing and perspective. I confess my pride and self-pity. I lay my past at Your feet and ask You to use the lessons and blessings from yesterday to reshape my understanding of today and my outlook on tomorrow. I trust in Your eternal perspective and power. I trust in Your love for me. I trust that all things work together for my good - I do love You. Thank You for the healing and grace. In the love, and by the blood of Christ I pray. Amen.