2017 might have been a great year for some, but for others, it was a year to forget.
Some of you went through a painful divorce this last year. Some of you lost your job. Others had relationship failures, family drama, personal defeats and health challenges.
For some, this was a year that you want to put behind you.
The Apostle Paul gives us a hint in his famous words used by many as a motivational speech, “Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12 HCSB). He goes on with this statement, “Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead” (v. 13).
That’s the key. You can’t forget a difficult past unless you are reaching for what is ahead. The best way to process a painful event is to learn everything you can from it in order to make the future a lot better.
If you want to forget 2017, do this:
- List your painful experiences and specifically what you learned from each of them
- Let go of every offense against you…you’ve got to forgive!
- List a couple of aggressive but reachable God-honoring goals for 2018
- Pray over those goals and ask God for a plan of action
- Schedule your plan…what you are going to do and when…in order to see those goals achieved.
There’s something about the “reaching” that enables the “forgetting.” In fact, you’ll find that something better than that will probably happen. As you learn the lessons of the past to help you achieve goals in the future, you’ll gain a new perspective on what you wanted to forget. You’ll find that God uses all of those painful experiences to bring honor to him by producing good in you (Romans 8:28).
So then it’s not all about 2017. It’s not even about 2018. It’s about God having his way in your life.