The Bible teaches at least five steps in God’s healing process. If you want God to bring healing to hurtful memories, from recollections of the past that cause you pain, step four is this:
Refocus on the future.
If you want to find healing you have to get your attention off your past and onto God’s plan for your future. A lot of non-Christian therapy and counseling today leads you back into your past, but God wants you to focus on the future. Friends – it’s possible to get so focused on the past and so caught up in the past that you get stuck in the past. But God wants to get your mind fixed on your future. The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13, “…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” That’s what you need to do with your hurt – leave it in the past and start refocusing on your future.
When I went through a very difficult season of life and ministry in Maryland, I didn’t handle everything perfectly. If I could go back I would change the way I handled certain things. I would say some things that I stuffed down inside and kept quiet about out of fear. But here’s what I’ve learned: You can’t go back and change the past. You can only learn from your mistakes and apply what you’ve learned to future situations. I’ve learned to leave the past in the past and refocus on the future – on handling things right the next time I’m in a similar situation – and friends, God as my witness, I’ve been doing this the last eight years.
If we’re going to find healing from our hidden wounds we have to get out of the past and move into the future. And there’s a verse in the book of Job that tells us how to refocus on the future. Let me read it to you. Job 11:13-16 says, “Put your heart right…Reach out to God…Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more.” (GNT)
- First it says “Put your heart right.” Stop dwelling in your heart on the past. Start dwelling in your heart on the future.
- Second it says “Reach out to God.” Ask God for help to let go of your past and to give you a fresh vision for the future. Ask God to help you stop focusing on your hurts and to start focusing on your Healer – on Jehovah Rapha – the Lord who heals you. After all, that’s the name of God we’re studying today!
- Third it says “Face the world again.” Don’t pull yourself back into a shell. Resume living! Stop saying “I’m a victim!” Start saying “I’m not a victim anymore!” Start looking to the future God has for you!
If you’ll do these things, notice what the verse says: “Then all your troubles will fade from your memory. Like floods that are past and remembered no more.” Wouldn’t you like that? Wouldn’t you like your hurts to fade from your memory? Then take these steps. Here’s a principle for you: Forgetting is caused by refocusing. When you refocus on the future God has for you and his plan and purpose for you life, you become so consumed with that you don’t have time to think about the past. Friend – your past doesn’t have to be your future! You don’t have to live stuck in the past. Reach out to Jehovah Rapha and he will bring healing. Dwelling on the past will only prolong your pain, so God says to refocus on the future. This is step four in God’s healing process.