I often meet people who are living in the past. They can’t move on because somebody unfairly did something to them. They spend their lives reliving their pain while their oppressors have moved on and are living happy and fulfilling lives.
David understood this kind of pain which is why he wrote: “Don’t be worried on account of the wicked; don’t be jealous of those who do wrong. They will soon disappear like grass that dries up; they will die like plants that wither” (Psalm 37:1 GNB). The whole Psalm, in fact, is about the destiny of the wicked and the good with advice to the good to “Be patient and wait for the LORD to act” (v7).
It’s easy to say don’t worry about things that have happened or “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago (Isa. 43:18-19 GNB) but how do you actually DO that? Left to myself my mind would play an endless movie of abuse, betrayal, treachery, intimidation, aggression and fear. How can we take control of our minds?
Firstly, we recognise that those images are from the seat of hell so we firmly order Satan to leave us in the name of Jesus and to take his wicked thoughts with him. Satan and his demons aren’t fair players but when they are confronted by a greater power, they flee. Keep your mind on God and “submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you” (James 4:7 GNB).
Next, we fill our mind with good things. This can be by reading the Bible, listening to praise music or praying.
Lastly we, meditate on “things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable” (Philippians 4:8 GNB). Anxiety is destroyed when we focus on good things. Meditate on the truth that had you been the only person on earth, Jesus would have suffered and died for you.
When your head is in this positive space, no doubts or fears can surface. “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”(John 8:31-32 GNB).
The freedom from fear, pain and anxiety that Jesus promised can be yours today when you let stop clinging to the things of the past and cling to Jesus.