Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” God doesn’t want us to dwell on the past because doing so can cause us to be stuck. There is no benefit in keeping one hand on the past and the other on the future!
It’s simply, when our focus is on the past, it’s too easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves. Or to focus on our regrets. Or to think that our best days are behind us. Worst of all, dwelling on our past can make us feel unthankful for all of the blessings in our lives, especially the blessings we have in the present.
Pay close attention to the next passage of text following verse 18 above: the Lord says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (v19)
We we put these two verses together, we see that the Lord wants us to resist dwelling on the past so that we can “perceive” the “new thing” He wants to do in our lives. He knows that if we are unreceptive to the brand-new things He’s about to do, then we might delay or prevent them from coming to pass.
Beloved, please don’t miss the excitement that is in the Lord’s voice within these verses. He knows that what He has in store for all of us is far better than anything we could imagine. The Living Bible translation bears this out when it says, “But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do!” (v. 18)
We can also choose to follow Paul’s lead in Philippians 3:13-14, “…. 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.”
Pray with me: Father God, I don’t want to miss out on any of the wonderful plans You have for my life. Teach me how to resist dwelling on the past in ways that will potentially stifle my future and the new thing You have in stored for me. Show me how to constantly move forward into the better things You have for me up ahead. Guard me from self-pity, feelings of regret, and unthankfulness, and help me to maintain an attitude of gratitude at all times. Thank You that as I keep my eyes of faith open, I will be able to perceive the new things You have in store for me! In JESUS’ name, AMEN