You Can’t Move Forward Lookin’ Back

Looking back isn’t going to help you. Moving forward is the thing you have to do. ~ McKayla Maroney

There’s an expression: “Stuff Happens”. In case you haven’t noticed, it happens to all of us. At any given point in time, each of us deals with a myriad of problems, challenges, frustrations, irritations and catastrophes. Some have elderly relatives. Others have financial problems, ill health, challenging relationships or some other human woe.

I have three close friends who went through divorce after more than 30 years of marriage. Life and family dissolved. Lifestyle and security ripped apart. Although my divorce is decades back, I remember the pain. Sometimes hysteria. Often anguish.

Having been through some of life’s hardest challenges, I learned that even the deepest wounds heal. Your soul–your mind, will and emotions–has a remarkable ability to recover and grow, to find peace, comfort and even joy.

I have learned that by faith we can survive the most trying situations. I also know that the Universe holds a place of harmony and peace for each of us. God has a place of blessing, abundance and growth for everyone. If you’re facing a difficult situation (or more than one!), apply these faith-filled principles. You can move forward toward victory and peace.

Have Faith in God

Abraham faced as many difficult situations as any of us, but a barren wife and old age were probably at the top of his list. When God told him, “You’ll have a child”, Abraham could have laughed and said, “No way, Lord! Have You seen this body? And Sarah’s never been able to have a child!” Yet, Paul explained in his letter to the Romans that Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God (v. 4:20). Abraham knew that God’s Word was powerful enough to overcome any situation, no matter how difficult it looked.

Find God’s promises of peace, prosperity, healing—whatever you need—and BELIEVE that they will come to pass in your life. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jer. 29:11)

Have Faith in Yourself

It’s easy to absorb the lies the devil and the world tell you about how bad you are or how impossible your situation is. The human tendency is to believe that things will never change, that you’re stuck—probably forever. Don’t listen!

The truth is, you are created in the image of almighty God Himself! You’ve got the faith and the power and the Holy Spirit and the Name of Jesus and the Word of God to strengthen and help you. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (I John 5:5).

Tell yourself, “I can make it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Don’t let the world beat you down. Don’t look at what you didn’t do, or at all the failures in your past. (We all have them, you know.) Instead, tell yourself you are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Eph. 6:18) and believe that you can and will not only survive. You will be victorious and blessed!

Have Faith in the Outcome

No matter what you’re dealing with, the only way to lose is to quit trying. For whosoever is born of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I John 5:4).

I know that my friends will each follow their own paths to healing. And I know that, ultimately, they will create new lives for themselves. How fast that happens depends on their attitude and mindset.

You see, you can’t move forward, lookin’ back. You can’t drive a car very far by looking in the rear view mirror.  You’ll never get to your destination, unless you are backing into the garage!

Regardless of how others perceive or treat you, your life can be full, peaceful and blessed. The determining factor is never what is happening to you or around you. The key to your success is always your own attitude.

Don’t Listen!

Tell the negative voices in your head to ‘Shut Up!” They’re lying to you and you don’t have to listen. Worry, dread, failure, anxiety, anger envy and all the rest of those mental imps are trying to pester the peace and joy out of you. Turn up the music, talk to yourself. Read your favorite Bible verses out loud. Sing praise hymns.

Negative thoughts will keep buzzing your brain like persistent wasps, trying to sting and hurt you. Swat them away! Cover yourself by faith with God’s protective netting of promises.

None of my friends asked for a divorce. They didn’t expect it or anticipate it. It just happened (we won’t go into the possible causes now). But each of them is choosing to focus on the present and the future, not the past.

This is a Only a Test

If you’re dealing with a major life crisis – a death, divorce, or critical illness – keep lookin’ forward.  As humans, we tend to look back at times we remember fondly, wishing things were different now. Let me assure you, there were challenges then, too. (Your ‘selective memory’ allows you to forget the bad parts.) Instead, stay in the present. Find the blessing in each moment, even if it’s no more than a hot cup of tea or a moment of peace.

Do you remember the National Emergency Alert notice? “This is a test, this is only a test”. Remind yourself, “This too shall pass”. While it may seem like your life will NEVER be any different, let me assure you that it will.

There hath no temptation taken hold of you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted [tried or tested] beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (I Cor. 10:13).

Recognize that we all deal with the stresses and crises of life. Take comfort that you’re not alone, and that you will survive. Just keep lookin’ forward with faith and never, ever quit!

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