Never Stop Moving Forward

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Isaiah 43:18

Many people live with emotional scars and are unable to have healthy relationships because they are stuck in the past. In truth, it is not easy to move forward when we feel betrayed or when we are wounded emotionally or psychologically. Some people never recover from their emotional pain. Many commit suicide or go into deep depression.

In today’s text, Isaiah prophesied the restoration of the people of Israel who were taken into Babylonian captivity. Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord reminds his chosen people their future will be bright and hopeful notwithstanding the struggle of their past. He wanted to reassure them that he had not forgotten his covenantal promises, and his faithfulness was unwavering.

People who dwell in the past struggle to forgive others, and they forfeit the blessing of living with the joy of the Lord. Perhaps that is why Jesus placed such emphasis on forgiveness. Forgiveness is a forward step towards healing. The only way to forgive is by forgetting the former things and by not dwelling on the past.

Several years ago I went on a mission trip to Niger with a team from my home church to do leadership training for pastors. To get to the location of the training, we had to travel on small planes for two hours because it would have taken over twelve hours by bus. The plane ride was so turbulent and traumatic that I developed a fear of flying when I came back home.

Before that experience, I used to love flying and never had a fear of flying. But when I came back from that trip, the very thought of getting on a plane made me sweat. I had to deal with that fear of flying real fast because part of my job is flying to many countries and cities to train doctors and medical personnel. A few months after I came back from Niger, I had to fly to Madrid, Spain for work. And since I could not say no, I had to change my thinking and get over my fear so I can keep my job. That trip not only saved my job, but it enhanced the trajectory of my career.

My point is: we should not allow a bad experience in the past hinder our forward movement. Notwithstanding how good or bad the past may have been we have to move forward. Even when the past was beneficial and enjoyable, we have to move forward in order to march toward our destiny.

For those that have experienced a failed business and are afraid to try again, I say pray and ask God for the wisdom and the strength to move forward. Perhaps, your next business venture will exceed your expectations. For those that have dropped out of school (high school or college) and are afraid to go back to school because they do not think they have the smarts to succeed I say; you will never know how smart you are and how far you can go until you try. So go forward and register for a few classes and get back on track.

We should not allow the fear of the past hijack our joy of today and the bliss of tomorrow. Peace, joy, and happiness are attitude based. Our attitude should be that of moving forward and refusing to be defined by our past experiences.

The best way to end this devotional is with the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12-14: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 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.”

Prayer- Blessed Lord, you who have forgiven us of our past failures; may you give us the courage to move forward with faith and hope as we endeavor to do your kingdom’s work.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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