“It was a bit painful. I didn’t want to go back into my life and imagine things that I hadn’t understood so far.” Those words from Ian McKellen, the actor who is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Gandalf in the movie trilogies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, help explain why he cancelled a book contract for his autobiography. It was too painful.
It’s likely that all of us have moments from our past that are painful to recall. Paul’s famous words in the book of Romans remind us that “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” because of what we’ve done wrong (Romans 3:23). In addition, we’ve been hurt by others—sometimes unintentionally, but often intentionally. The sins of others, or our own poor choices, leave many of us filled with memories we’d rather forget.
God chooses not to remember our sins. He’s not forgetful, but simply has decided to “never again remember” the wrong we’ve done (Hebrews 10:17). We can take comfort that in this same passage the promise of our identity in Jesus is restated: “For by that one offering [of Jesus] he forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).
Are there seasons of your life you would rather forget—painful memories from the past? Find encouragement in the loving forgiveness of God today. By faith in Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, you’re “being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14). The memories of sins you’ve committed, or the memories of sins others have committed against you, don’t need to keep you from a life of peace in God’s presence. “Our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean” (Hebrews 10:22).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Deuteronomy 30:1-20
Read Psalm 103:8-18 and pay special attention to what it says about how much God loves us.
What painful memory is holding you back from peace with God? Who’s a trusted and mature believer in Jesus with whom you can talk about it? How does God’s forgiveness encourage you today?