Letting Go of the Past
By Russ and Kitty Walden
In every life there are regrets and disappointments that seem to haunt us and dampen our hopes and the sense of our future.
Paul looked back over his life with the realization that there were many disappointments, unmet goals and unrealized dreams. Rather than pine away in disenchantment he adopted a forward leaning posture when he declared:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” Philippians 3:13.
We often look back with regret regarding our life. Relationships that were broken, friendships ruined, lost opportunities and bitter failures. From these disappointments, bitterroot judgments can form that make us miserable in our present and hinder us in our future.
In this study we will consider how to deal with the disappointments of the past and move forward to find the bright future God has for us.
The Past is Not a Predictor of Your Future
Early in my ministry one of the first things God clearly spoke to me was this:
“Your past is not a predictor of your future nor an adequate commentary on your present.”
We can spend so much time wasting our emotional energies on things that we cannot change. You will experience loss, irretrievable loss in life but this does not need to become the parameters from which your value and potential are defined.
Paul when on to say this:
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,” Philippians 3:8.
He Was Rejected so that We Could be Accepted:
We cannot place more value or make deeper emotional investments into lost outcomes than we do in pressing into the purposes of God. We must make seeking first the Kingdom as our primary value in life.
Matthew 6:33 tells us that if we seek first the Kingdom then it is not possible that all things (that pertain to life and godliness) will not be added to us. For the believer life is not about living an endless procession of disappointment and pain.
Jesus took our pain. He was rejected so that we could be accepted. He bore our grief so that we could live in increasing joy every day. For the believer being positive is not about mere human optimism.
In the very fabric of redemption God has provided for our release from the graveyard of past regrets.
“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand,” Isaiah 53:2-10.
Jesus was despised so that we could be cherished and loved. He was rejected so that we could be accepted. We are accepted in Christ therefore we will not allow the rejection or woundings of past relationships to influence us more deeply than what Christ has provided for us in contrast on the cross.
We hid our faces from him even as people hide themselves from us at times. Indifference can be the cruelest blow of all.
Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel declared that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. There is nothing indifferent about what Christ has done for you on the cross.
There are times that sorrow and grief all are that we can extract from vast swaths of our personal history but Jesus bore the sting of our sorrow and our grief so that we can receive and walk in joy and celebration.
Just as we receive Jesus as savior to keep us from eternal punishment so we must accept Him as the substitute for our temporal suffering. You must make a choice not to live in bitterness or regret.
It pleased the Father to bruise Him even though Jesus was the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.
It pleased the Father to bruise Jesus and put Him through the rigors of the Cross in order to SAVE YOU AND I not only from the torments of hell but the hell of temporal suffering, rejection, disappointment and failure.
Enduring Contradiction – Relinquishing the Outcome:
When you are disappointed and rejected it is like an open compound fracture in your soul. Unrequited love is a deep contradiction to how God made us to give love and be loved in return.
Jesus came and poured out His life in a human condition yet was deeply rejected and rebuffed by all mankind. How did He survive this with His sense of well being and joy intact?
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds,” Hebrews 12:2-3.
Rejection and grief will weary your heart and bring you to the brink of mental and emotional exhaustion. There will be in your life continual contradictions to the promise of God and the simplicity of your hopes and dreams.
Jesus endured these past the point of the grave itself and received of the travail of His soul and was satisfied. You must keep first things first and let the main thing be the main thing.
Paul put it this way:
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,” Colossians 3:1-3.
We are encouraged here to “set your affection on things above…” The word affection here is an interesting word without an adequate translation. It means our “emotional attenuation”.
We are not to anchor our sense of self or draw our senses of well being from the temporal circumstances of life. To do so is to live on an emotional roller coaster. We must relinquish our opinions and free ourselves from the tyranny of “would-have, should-have, couldhave” and anchor our self referral in who Christ is in our life.
In so doing we not only find peace and comfort in the midst of open conflict but we also access the resources that release the power and sovereignty of God into our
life that will cause such things not to be repeated again.
Prayer of Release from Past Regrets and Bitter Root Judgments:
I reject the judgment that my value, my self-worth or my personal lovability could ever be held captive to past disappointments or regret.
I declare Father that my self-worth is determined entirely by the fact that I am created in your image (Genesis 1:26, 27).
I am your child and you call me your beloved. That one fact trumps and eclipses every bitter thing I have ever experienced.
Father, I now surrender to you all shame or fear-based attitudes and behaviors that have formed in me resulting from abuse, neglect, divorce or broken relationships of any kind.
Show me Father, the path of life where I can walk totally free from the past and experience a new kind of freedom to love and be loved in return without fear of repeating past hurts.
Give me freedom Lord to risk again knowing that your protection will keep me safe as you work change in my life in this area.
I forgive and release all who have offended me.
I invite the Holy Spirit to wash me now through my faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
I invite you Jesus to separate me from the dysfunctional behavior resulting from past regret that I have not relinquished to you.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I command every demonic influence that has claimed spiritual territory in my soul because of these root judgments to get out of my life!
I give you praise Father and welcome you, Holy Spirit, to dwell within my heart in greater measure as you are transform my soul into the likeness of Christ.
~ Prophet Russell Walden
Prophet Russel Walden and wife Kitty were founders of Father’s Heart Ministry of Branson, Missouri, traveling internationally and in the USA ministering in the prophetic. Prophet Russ brings a new dimension to the prophetic through activation and impartation of God’s voice in your life. Russ comes from a long history in business world and full time pastoral ministry.
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