Wouldn’t you like to have a time machine so you could travel back in time to change some things in your past? You may have done some things that you’d like to undo. But the past doesn’t exist anymore except in your memory. You can’t go back and do it over, but you can start today and make a new ending. You can’t change your past but here are three things that can change.
1. You can’t change what you did in your past…but you can be cleansed of what you did.
We all have sinful pasts, but none are out of reach of God’s mercy. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 speaks to a shameful past: “and such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified….” God’s forgiveness changes everything! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Think of Peter who failed the Lord miserably just before the Savior’s torture and death (Luke 22:54-62). No doubt he felt unworthy to even be in Jesus’ resurrected presence. But forgiven in Christ, Peter became a mighty leader in the church, feeding the Lord’s sheep (John 21:15-17).
Jesus died for all your sins, not just some of them. If you’ll receive Jesus as your Lord and ask His forgiveness, He says, “I will remember their sins no more” (Heb. 8:12). If He doesn’t remember them anymore, then neither should you.
2. You can’t change the consequences of your past…but you can trust God to use your past as His testimony.
Many want to keep their past a secret, yet God may be saying, “I want you to tell others how Jesus rescued you.” Consider new opportunities to reach out and make a difference. Allow lessons from your past to drive you toward greater God-planned (Ephesians 2:10) ministry and service.
A testimony has powerful impact. People may dispute scripture and deny the Lord, but it’s hard to deny the transformation God makes in a life. Stories of victory over the sin, pain and hurt in your past are evidences of change. God has great purpose in redeeming each one of us. What Satan means for evil in our lives, God wants to transform and use for His glory.
God “works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11). Paul persecuted and murdered Christians before he was converted (Acts 8:1,3, 26:10) but God used his tainted past as a testimony of His mercy. People said, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy” (Gal. 1:23).
3. You cannot change anything in your past…but you can change everything about your future.
Philippians 3:12-14 – “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid 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 of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.…”
Your life is a book that you’re writing. The past is gone so you can’t go back in time to rewrite it. But the future hasn’t happened yet and you can choose the ending of the book. You might have had a bad start but you can write a good ending. Your book isn’t finished. Start writing that great ending right now. Forget what is behind and press on and you will win the prize!