As the New Year closes in, we are reminded by the Word of God to leave behind the things that are past. Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us that we should stop brooding over things that have gone by, constantly repeating them to our condemnation. We should leave it all behind.
There is one thing, however, that we are encouraged to carry with us as we move forward into the new year. Although we are warned not to look back as we follow Christ, there’s one thing that we are actually encouraged to look back to: God’s goodness.
In Psalm 103:1-6, David reminds himself:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord does righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.”
Just like David, we all need to remind ourselves of God’s goodness. Instead of carrying our disappointments, hurts, pains, bitterness, and other things negative, into the New Year, we should bring with us a consciousness of God’s goodness to us.
This shouldn’t be hard for us to do, if we really think about it. If we as humans can find it easy to repeat our failures to ourselves, it should be easy for us to remind ourselves of how God came to our rescue – how He sent His one and only begotten Son to save us from sin and death.
Christ’s Command to Remember
Luke 22:19 gives us an account of one of Christ’s commands to us:
“Then He took the bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.'”
Christ wants all of us to remember that He gave His life for our sakes. He wants all of His followers to remember that He came in an earthly body to suffer and die, shedding His blood for our sakes. And yes, He also wants us to remember that He rose again from the grave and is now alive and seated at the right hand of God.
See, friends, that while God wants us to forget the former things, there’s one thing we should remember: God’s goodness, which is seen through Christ’s death on the cross and His consequent resurrection.