Saturday, December 31, 2016

January 1, 2017

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19

God's Word from the Prophet Isaiah for the New Year is this, "God wants to do a new thing!"

Would you like something new from God in 2017? You cannot get something new from God if you are dwelling in the past.

For 2017 I urge you to let go of your grudge(s) and take hold of God's grace! 

"How does that happen?" you ask.

Here's a three step plan to let go of your past so you can embrace your future:

1) Forgive
2) Factor
3) Focus


Forgiving is the key to letting go of your past. Forgiveness is a decision between two options. You can choose to offer grace (forgiveness) or you can hold a grudge.

Choosing to forgive sets the offender free but also releases you to begin healing. Choosing to hold a grudge will hold you captive to bitterness and pain.

Forgiveness does not mean you have to forget the offense nor does it mean you must put yourself back into a place to be hurt again. It does mean that every time you think of the offense you choose to continue forgiving that offense. That's what it means to be a grace-giver! Every time you are tempted to hold a grudge you instead choose to extend grace.

I believe that is precisely what Jesus meant when He told the disciples to forgive "70 times 7". He didn't mean they had to forgive 490 separate times, what He was teaching them was to forgive once and choose to offer grace at each remembrance of that person or his offense.

Forgiveness is necessary for other reasons:

  • You will need to be forgiven
  • You have been forgive before
  • You need God's forgiveness and if you don't forgive you aren't able to receive forgiveness
  • God has more good things He wants to give you and blessings to offer grace-givers.
Are giving grace or are you holding grudges?


Grace-givers are also learners. Every time they remember the offense or the offender they factor their involvement in the situation. They ask, "What should I learn about myself in this instance?" "How did I contribute to the painful outcome?" "What should I have done differently?" "What will I do differently if I am in a similar situation again?" "How does this help me understand the offender better?" "What does God want to teach me from this?" "Have I forgiven myself for the poor decisions I made?"

When Paul wrote to the Romans, "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes." Romans 8:28

Can I understand how things are working together for good if I am not in touch with was was bad, what was wrong and how does God want to use this to help me grow?

If you don't learn from your mistakes or the mistakes of others you are doomed to repeat those mistakes and be stuck in bad places. Pain is a terrible thing to waste. Process your pain so you can turn it to gain.

Are you learning from your pain?


Once you have offered forgiveness and processed your pain you are free to focus on the future God has in mind for you!

You can't move forward if your focus is fixed on your past anymore than you can drive your car safely forward while you are staring at your rear-view mirror!

Isaiah promises that God wants to do a new thing in your life! He wants to make a way through your wilderness! He wants to give you refreshing in the dry, desert-like periods of your life.

Expect God to do a fresh new work in your heart and in your spirit! And expect Him to deposit His grace in the place where you have been gracious to others! 

Are you focused on the new things God has in store for you in 2017 or are you mired in pain and heartache of a past event?

For a joyous 2017, FOCUS - FACTOR - FOCUS!