“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ~C.S. Lewis
Imagine how different your life would be if you lived with this truth before your eyes. Fear would be cast out. Doubt, regret, anxiety, and hopelessness would have no place in your life. Think of the worst thing you have done, the one that weighs you down with guilt, that is always present in the back of your mind, reminding you of how worthless you are. Think of the countless times you have fallen back into the same patterns of sin, unable to extricate yourself from the depths of your own depravity. Think about the decisions you made in your life that broke your own heart as well as the hearts of others, those moments you would give anything to change. If you had but one more chance, you would go back and force yourself to make the right choice, altering your future forever.
But God doesn’t want you to change your past.
If the Lord wanted the course of your life to be different, He would have laid obstacles in your way to prevent you from making bad decisions. This is not a reason to rejoice in wrongdoing, but rather, to rejoice that despite your sinfulness, the Lord has upheld you.
If you had always chosen correctly, who would you give credit to?
You would forever be puffed up, full of pride, pompously trusting in your own wisdom for directing your life. God knows this, and that is why at times, He takes a step back, loosens His hold on your life, and allows you to fall into the trench of your own willful, misguided, sinfulness. The harder you fall, the more evident your weakness becomes.
This is where there is growth. Without a sense of your own helplessness, you would never seek the help of your Almighty Father. It is in a state of despair that you truly call out to the Lord. It is then that your wretched mistakes are given a purpose. They lead you to a fuller knowledge of the Lord and instill in your heart a deeper love for Him that would not have been possible otherwise.
No, you can’t change your past, but that doesn’t mean you are ensnared by it. When Jesus died on the cross, He wiped your slate clean, taking on Himself your miserable sinfulness and pronouncing you righteous. If God does not hold your past sins against you, then why do you continue to hold them against yourself? Why do you use them as excuses for not walking in accordance with His commands? Why do you let the weight of your regret keep you from pursuing a future that is free from guilt?
The world gives you a false hope. It tells you that you can empower yourself to do better, that you can find strength in yourself to overcome your problems. Did that work out for you in the past? Did believing in yourself transform you into a better person? Or were you the source of your problems, not the solution?
Thank the Lord, you have more than yourself to rely on! As a believer, your hope rests on Jesus, not on your own will to succeed. With Him you can change your future because He has shattered the chains of your past enabling you to push forward in your Christian walk.
You may have fallen ten thousand times, but if you look to Jesus, He will pull you out of the rut you are stuck in. God does not reject you because of how awful your past is. Jesus tells us, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32). The Great Physician is not deterred by the disease of sin. He breaks off the dead branches in your life and replaces them with living, healthy limbs that flourish under His hand. With this enduring hope, you cannot but succeed as you strive to let go of your past and trust God to give you a glorious future, dedicated to pleasing Him.