Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FORGET (10/17/19)
- TITLE: Forgiven But Not Forgotten
By Laurie Staples
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Yet, the smallest things can spark a painful memoryâ€” a certain smell or a familiar song, sometimes even a particular turn of phrase.
God knew it would be our tendency to regurgitate and ruminate on our regrets, our painful past, our times of blatant disobedience.
The evil one wants us to be stuck in our pain, to let our past define usâ€” rather than let it be defined by the wondrous possibilities of the present. He wants our shame to immobilize us, to make us feel we are no longer worthy to be used by God.
And yet, God has given us the ability to choose what occupies our mind, to take captive those joy-stealing thoughts, to set our minds on things above, to believe He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. We can hold closely to the truth that there is now no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. We can trust Him when He tells us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The Bible is chock full of ordinary people who chose to turn their backs on God, and yet, through Godâ€™s abounding grace and mercy, their lives were transformed and they lived on to accomplish great things for Him and through Him.
But like anything worthwhile, it takes discipline to banish those ugly memories as soon as they surfaceâ€”to remind ourselves that itâ€™s not happening NOW and that we are in fact, new creatures in Christ.
We can boldly claim His promise to work ALL things (even the really ugly things) together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus.
In light of all Godâ€™s promises of grace, forgiveness and mercy, Iâ€™ve often wondered why He doesnâ€™t allow us to forget our shameful acts entirely. We can choose to push them into the corners our minds but we are unable to banish them all together. I believe God doesnâ€™t let us forget because when those same temptations return (and they will) weâ€™re better equipped to say no, to stay within the boundaries God lovingly drew for us.
There is no sin so egregious as to rob us from a life of righteousness and peaceâ€”an incalculable gift that is ours for the takingâ€”through Christ alone. Hallelujah!
â€œNo discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained for it.â€ Hebrews 12:11
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