“…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.”
We will always be faced with experiences and situations of discomfort, as long as we walk this Earth in human form. It is what we do, how we respond, what we think, and what we say during these moments that will either deliver us or push us farther into the depths of darkness.
Years ago, my friend Kenya forwarded a message to me that said, “Get past the past by choosing right thoughts because God has victory and blessings in store for your future” and if you truly believe that God will never forsake you, never leave you, and never put more on you than you can handle, then you should always keep your eyes on the prize— with images and sounds of victory flowing through your mind.
Let God handle those who have mistreated you, lied to you, misled and deceived you, harmed you, and betrayed you. Those are not your battles, they are His. He is the judge. He is the scale balancer. He is the healer. Leave His work to Him.
It is not your will but His will that makes all things possible. I must remind myself of this daily as the unexpected comes my way. I must pause from time to time and close my eyes as I pray for God to make things right. I sometimes sit in silence, in reflection and meditation, tuning out the rest of the world, focusing on God and Jesus, and what they would expect of me.
It is not wise to always speak your first or even second thought. It is not wise to always react immediately when a situation arises. There must be a balanced approach of thought without analysis paralysis. Remember that what we say and do can’t be erased or changed once the trigger has been pulled. It is not the quickness of our response, but the thoughtful intentionality of how we respond to circumstances that matter.
Don’t let fear control you. Don’t let the past haunt you. Don’t let someone else’s image of you dictate how you see yourself. How does God see you? That should be your point of focus. Never forget who and what you are, and then it’s easier to see the past as a culmination of lessons and blessings, the future as something to hope for, and the present as something to revel in.
Father, I pray to You not only for myself but for my brothers and sisters in Christ, and for those who haven’t grown to fully believe in You and Your Word. Father, You know that I have had my share of ups and downs over the days, weeks, months, and years. You know that each time I fall down whether on my knees or on my face, with Your help, I’ve always gotten back up on my feet.
Father, as I walk through the forest of fear I have to remain focused on what is in front of me and not behind me. Help me to be free and to move forward, to heal, to grow, and to be released from feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and disappointment. In Your glorious Name I pray. Amen.
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