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Replaying the past
Pastor Jon Enter
by Pastor Jon Enter
January 21, 2023

My daughter just learned (hopefully) a life lesson. While visiting friends on vacation, she yelled out in front of our hosts, “I refuse to sleep on that air mattress!” She got to sleep on the floor. For over 20 minutes, she sulked. “WHY DID I SAY THAT?” But she did. It couldn’t be undone.

None of us can change the past. When we try, we spiral into a vortex of negativity. “What if I had only—ONLY—done something differently?” But what-if questions don’t change anything; they steal happiness and contentment.  

If the apostle Paul focused on his past, he never would’ve served Jesus. Focusing on our past’s brokenness never brings happiness or contentment. Paul didn’t live in the what-if world; he knew God was bigger and more grace filled than his past. So he confidently wrote, “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” (Philippians 3:13,14).

Forget your past; you don’t live there anymore! The what-if questions don’t work. So change the question from what if? to what now? what next? Control the controllables. What does God ask me to do now? What does God ask me to do next? 

The answer is in God’s Holy Word. Simply do a Google search—“Bible passages about . . .”—to find God’s guidance, grace, and help in your life. What now? What next? Jesus will not fail you.

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