"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." Philippians 3:13-14 NLT
Thoughts for Today
We all experience setbacks and disappointments in life. Sometimes small ones that we shrug off, learn from and move on. But sometimes disappointments have more impact. They stay with us, causing the past to haunt our present—and future.
The setback could be anything—bankruptcy … a failed marriage … termination from a job … a friendship gone sour. Or it might be losing a parent at a young age. Or the death of a spouse or someone else we cared for deeply.
A natural tendency when we have suffered a severe disappointment is to place blame. Perhaps we hold another person responsible. Sometimes we blame ourselves. We might even get angry with God.
God has promised us a future and a hope, but unforgiveness can block our ability to experience all the freedom he has planned for us. As long as we are unwilling to forgive, the disappointment of the past has control over our lives, and we cannot move forward.
It's time to forgive those who have hurt us. It's time to forgive ourselves. It's time to open our hearts to the love and forgiveness of our heavenly Father. And then it will be time to move on to the wonderful plans he has for us.
Father, help me to truly put the past behind and look forward to what lies ahead. Forgive my sin. Help me to walk in forgiveness—of others and of myself. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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