How can I benefit most from the past? - Past - TouchPoints

How can I benefit most from the past?

Psalm 143:5I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works. I think about what you have done.

Galatians 2:19-2119For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

The past helps you remember what God has done for you. Every past work of God is an assurance for the future. This is particularly of the past work Jesus did on the cross and how it has been applied to you as a repentant sinner so that you now live a new life. You still live in this world with its troubles, but  the life within you is the eternal life Christ gave you.

Exodus 10:2You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvelous things I am doing among the Egyptians to prove that I am the Lord.

The past gives you opportunities to tell others about God’s actions in biblical history and your own life. What audiences do you have for telling the story of what God has done for you.

Zechariah 1:4Do not be like your ancestors who would not listen when the earlier prophets said to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: Turn from your evil ways and stop all your evil practices.’

2 Kings 17:22-23And the people of Israel persisted in all the evil ways of Jeroboam. They did not turn from these sins until the Lord finally swept them away from his presence, just as all his prophets had warned. So Israel was exiled from their land to Assyria, where they remain to this day.

1 Corinthians 10:10-11And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

God’s written Word is a permanent record of his past actions and the truth God wants you to know. The past helps you learn from others and prevents you from making the same mistakes they did.

Ecclesiastes 7:10Don't long for "the good old days." This is not wise.

Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.

Don’t long for “the good old days,” for you don’t know whether they were any better than today.

Philippians 3:13No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead . . .

While remembering the past can be healthy, living in the past is not. Dwelling on (or in) the past leaves you constantly vulnerable to the shame and sin hiding in your history. You can enjoy fond memories and learn from past mistakes, but you shouldn’t focus on the past because you cannot change it. Living in the past will cause you to miss today.

Deuteronomy 32:7Remember the days of long ago; think about the generations past. Ask your father and he will inform you. Inquire of your elders, and they will tell you.

Isaiah 42:23Will not even one of you apply these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you?

Lamentations 3:19-2419 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:22 The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease.23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Psalm 78:1-4We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord.

From the past we learn wise lessons of God at work. We also learn from others — what worked well and what didn’t. We learn not to repeat failure and to how to build on successes. We are reminded of God’s past faithfulness so we can be encouraged to trust him today.