Putting the Past in the Past Philippians 3:13,14
Joseph “Bill” David “Phil & Ruth” Naaman Saul of Tarsus “Mark” Peter “Steve” Conquering the Past Refused to be locked in the past
Sins—Left in the Past • Leave past sins in the past “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13,14
Reacting to the Past • How do I react to past joys and sorrows? • WISE: patient and trusting in God. • FOOL: impatient, angry, cynical; wants to control life’s events. Cannot trust God or men. • Lessons necessary for godly, balanced, productive, fulfilling lives.
Putting the Past in the Past Applies to: • Prosperity and adversity • Family relationships • Seeking and offering forgiveness
Prosperity and Adversity • Trust God to guide the unfolding of life’s events “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools. Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.” Ecclesiastes 7:8-10
The End of a Thing Is Better… • Prosperity and adversity. • Trust God to guide the unfolding of life’s events—from bud to bloom. Cattleyea Orchid
From Bud to Bloom: Cranberries bud swell tight bud cabbagehead bud break bud elongation roughneck hook bloom College of Agriculture and Life Sciences & Wisconsin Cranberry Board, Inc.
The End of a Thing Is Better… • Prosperity and adversity. • Trust God to guide the unfolding of life’s events—from worm to butterfly. Caterpillar—Cocoon—Monarch Butterfly
Prosperity and Adversity • “God has appointed the one as well as the other.” “Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:13,14
Prosperity and Adversity • How do we react to adversity? • Abraham grew tired of waiting. He came up with his own solutions, then faced the consequences. • Genesis 15:2-4—offered Eliezer as heir • Genesis 16:1-3—offered Ishmael as heir • Genesis 21:1-3—God worked His plan in His own time!
Prosperity and Adversity • Moses and Israel waited on God “And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14
Prosperity and Adversity • Paul prayed, and God gave him strength to endure his trials “... And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Prosperity and Adversity • How do we react to adversity? • Leave the past and future in God’s hands. • Concern yourself with today. • “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
Prosperity and Adversity • How do we react to prosperity? • James 1:17—rejoice and give thanks to God. • Job 1:21—Use your prosperity in service to God; when it is past, thank Him and move on. • Leave the past and the future in God’s hands.