The idea of moving forward from our past is something that a lot of us may struggle with, myself included. We are often unable to keep our minds from dwelling on what we have done or what has happened to us, whether it be something that occurred 10 days or 10 years ago. Fortunately, for those of us who believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, his sacrifice covered all sins — past, present, and future.
While I was going through college, I struggled with things that a lot of college-aged kids do. I wanted to live the “normal” college-kid life, which included a lot of time spent giving into earthly desires, mostly a struggle with drunkenness many times a week. I carried on with this lifestyle for about two years, until I finally listened to the ever-so-tiny voice inside, which was God telling me that I was not living the life that he had called me to live as a believer in him. The struggle to continue with those behaviors faded away, but I could not get myself past the mistakes I had made during that time of my life. God worked on me a lot during this time and opened my eyes to the realization that my belief in him allowed me to stop feeling the condemnation of my past struggles.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
— Romans 8:1–2 NIV
Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago.
— Isaiah 43:18 GW
These verses are just a few of many that speak into the truth of moving on from our past sins. Romans 8 hits the nail square on the head and, once we come to terms with that truth, our past no longer defines what our future looks like. The sanctifying work of God in our lives is something that we will continue to struggle with until we have realized that we no longer have to live under the hurt and pain of our past struggles. Live in the wonderful grace that God has provided us.
The apostle Paul writes so well of how we should focus our lives going forward:
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken 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 for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 3:13–14 NIV