Looking back, looking forward

Earlier today on Bellshill Salvation Army Band’s Facebook page I shared some devotions. I’d like to share those devotions with you tonight.

In the last week, I’ve found myself thinking about people and events that have influenced my life in the past. Last week at work I also had to prepare my “Looking back, looking forward” monthly report for my teams. This report details all that we’ve worked on in the last month, and all we plan to work on in the coming month.

From a work perspective we can’t just consider what we plan to work on/achieve in the coming month in isolation, because in order to plan ahead, we have to know and understand what we’ve already done.

The same applies in our own lives – Our future is as much about the things that have not happened yet, as they are about the things we’ve not experienced yet.

How we cope with/handle the events and circumstances that will happen tomorrow or the next day is often about pulling on the experiences we’ve already had. In other words, our life experiences help us become the person we are today, and will also help make us the person we will become tomorrow. If our life was only filled with happy and joyful events and experiences, we would find it even more difficult to cope when we do face challenges.

Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!

Romans 5:3-5 (The Passion Translation)

By learning from our past experiences we will also know that the more we learn about life and about God, the more we should rely and trust God. Only God can provide all we need to help us learn from our past, and help guide and shape our future.

The festival arrangement ‘Living Power’ (Tom Davoren) features Timothy Dudley-Smith’s, ‘Lord, for the Years’ as the main theme. The title, ‘Living Power’, is taken from the inspirational final verse, the words of which tie perfectly with today’s devotions about looking back, looking forward.

Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us -
self on the cross and Christ upon the throne,
past put behind us, for the future take us:
Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.

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