“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
I have days when I am on the mountaintop. I have days where I am at the very lowest point in the valley. I sometimes feel like I can do anything. Other times I am convinced I can do nothing at all.
The harmful days are the ones when I become captive to my past. I think about all the things I have done wrong, the mistakes I have made. I dwell on my lack of wisdom, and on my weaknesses. I will remember a person I treated badly, or a situation that I could have handled in a much different manner. And when I am in this mode of thought, I truly am of no worth to anyone, much less God. And I cannot let it go.
But then Jesus reminds me of who I am. I am not worthless, only human. He pushes me to succeed, so I begin to seek new heights. He shows me His strength, and reminds me of His promise of sharing it with me. So I stand up and face whatever is in my day. He extends His hand to me, a hand full of forgiveness and grace. I repent of my sin of self-recrimination, and I realize who I am in Him. I am a new creation.
We all go through these things. None of us are perfect, not in any way, shape, or form. We were not created to be perfect; we were created to follow Jesus. And if we would simply let go of our past, let go of our inadequacies, let go of our selfishness, we would find a peace that cannot be obtained by any other means. We let go, we latch onto and cling to Jesus. He is where we find our worth.
If we dwell on all that has been wrong in our lives, of all the dashed hopes and dreams, of the hurts and pains, of the disappointments in people and in circumstances, then we cannot move forward, and we cannot be an effective witness for Jesus. We are full of our own selves, when we are to be full only of Him. If we will let go, He will equip us and teach us, and love us beyond anything we can imagine. Our entire lives will be changed, if we will just let go.
Letting go is not easy. It takes hard work. It demands a focused approach. It requires the use of our faith, stretching it at times to what we may feel is its limits. And it employs trust, trust in the Lord who gave it all that we might live, and live life abundantly, as well as with Him in eternity. We cannot do any of this on our own. It requires sacrifice, ridding ourselves of our past, learning to experience the future, and letting the past be just that, the past.
Jesus is Our Hope. And because He is, we can always depend on the future to be full of good things, as that is all He will ever give us. We can know without a shadow of a doubt that what has gone on before does not define who we are today. He does. Only Him. He is patient, He is kind, He is love, He is to be trusted. Go ahead, let go, and let Him!
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Have you gone through a time when you were held captive by something in your past? Please comment here or go to www.mystoryofgrace.com, and tell us about it. We want to hear your story!