“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Is. 43:18-19
Isaiah's words from God seem like the perfect verse to usher in the new year along with Paul’s words from Phil 3:13-14 =
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Seems like starting a new year gives us opportunity to do a lot of forgetting.
Yet I also recall verses that tell me to do just the opposite – remember!
Repeatedly in Scripture the Lord urges His people to remember – His covenants with them, what He has done for them (and us), what they (and we) had been, how they (and we) angered God, how He forgave.
In fact, Isaiah himself who wrote “forget the former things” also wrote “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” Isaiah 46:9
So what’s a girl to do?
Forget or remember??
Probably a little of both.
<<click to tweet>>
<<click to tweet>>
Alas, I find myself remembering things that have little value, hurtful things, foolish things, things that should be long forgotten. These are the things that Isaiah says to forget – “do not dwell in the past.” In Paul’s description of the race of life, these things are weights that drag us down and keep us from pressing on toward the goal.
What we are to dwell on, to remember, is the God that is like no other:
- The One who redeemed us when we were unworthy,
- the One who sustained us when we couldn’t go on,
- the One who grants us peace beyond understanding,
- the One who helps us to love the unlovable and who loves us unconditionally,
- the One who made us and REmade us.
The lyrics from one of my favorite bands Tenth Ave. North says:
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.
'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.
So in 2015, what will you forget?
And what will you remember?