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Moving Forward in 2022

Pastor Dom Cardamone

As we press into a new year, can I encourage you not to allow your past to hinder your future? If we are not careful, we can allow past mistakes, failures, regrets, or disappointments to shackle us and immobilize us from being able to move forward in the plan that God has for our lives. Even our past successes and victories, when viewed improperly, can cause us to be complacent and compromise our future effectiveness.

The Bible has many examples of people who had checkered pasts. They are some of our heroes. Joseph was completely mistreated by his brothers when they sold him into slavery. How he handled his past played a big part in the future success he had and the blessing he was able to be to his family. Moses murdered a taskmaster and struggled with insecurity before God used him to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered Uriah. Yet, God described him as a man after God’s own heart following that episode in his life. The Apostle Paul arrested and executed Christians for being followers of Jesus prior to his own salvation and taking the gospel all around the Roman empire. Peter abandoned Jesus’ calling and returned to the fishing trade after failing miserably to identify with Jesus at the high priest’s house the night of Jesus’ arrest even though he boasted he would never forsake the Lord. When Peter was restored by Christ, he went on to be a pillar in the early church. What’s the point? Each of these men could have looked at their past and became angry, swallowed up in guilt, or filled with regret. But, by the grace of God, they didn’t allow their past to hinder their future.

We should certainly glance back at the past from time to time to reflect and learn. However, we shouldn’t dwell there. Rejoice in the successes and victories, but don’t get lifted up in pride that you cease from relying on the grace and mercy of God. Joseph, Moses, David, Paul, and Peter could have just as easily fallen into that trap. Confess and forsake the sins and failures. Claim the forgiveness of God. Forgive like God. Do not allow anger, guilt, or regret to have a stronghold in your life.

Paul said this in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul made it his practice to “forget” those things behind him (success and failure). He also made it his focus to reach forward to that which was ahead of him (God’s plan for him in Christ Jesus). May we, by God’s grace, do the same in 2022.

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