by Rev. Tom Gray
When the old year passes, I spend some time in review of what happened—but not too much time. Staring at the rear view mirror doesn’t make for comfortable, safe driving, but you still occasionally have to be sure of what’s behind you.
Life is also like this. I’ve learned lessons from the past but the lessons only serve me well if I resolutely let them steer me to the future. How do we put these lessons in the past? Confessing our sins as we pray is a step toward the future. It’s a rear view mirror allowing us to mark the point of what was wrong, leave it there, and look more confidently into the future. Confession is not a failure but a confident step into the future, allowing us to concentrate on where we are going rather than where we’ve been.
A good word for an attitude of looking to the future is hope. With hope, we can overcome past failures and problems, and look forward to the future God has in store for us.
It is at this point that hope becomes real in our lives, freeing us up for the future. Hope is all about the future. No matter what has happened, or will happen, our lives still point to the future God holds for us. The ultimate hope of all—eternal life in heaven—lies before us with ample forgiveness and blessing between now and then.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)