Today I want to share what I have been thinking about regarding the power of history. All of us have history. The body of Christ has a history. Each of our nations has a history. But do these stories fill us with hope?
When I think of my past, what do I feel? Thankfulness, satisfaction, amazement? Or do I feel shame, guilt, or regret? How I see the past really matters. If I cannot see God’s involvement in my past, I usually struggle to expect His involvement in my future! If I have not received forgiveness for mistakes I made in the past, I have a hard time living in the blessing He wants to pour out on me today.
Like it or not, having the wrong version of the past holds me back from enjoying God’s plan for my future. If this resonates with you, might you want to take a moment right now to talk with God about your past? Ask Him to show you where He was in the moments He seemed absent. Ask Him to forgive you and reaffirm His love for you in spite of past failures.
I want to take this a step further: what about the Body of Christ? What about our respective nations? The Church has a remarkable history of revival. Likewise, each of our nations - as different as they may be - have stories of how God has intervened and used His people to change the course of history. When I forget God’s involvement in the history of my nation, it is harder for me to expect His involvement today. Yet, God calls me to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12), knowing that “our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed”! (Romans 13:11)
I am eager to understand what God has in store for my nation. It is important for me to increase my expectation for Him to fulfill the promises I read in the Bible. My number one way of growing my expectation is to study what He has already done! For me, that may involve reading about Christian revivals, watching a video, listening to a podcast, or having a conversation with someone who has a longer history with God than I do. I have found that as I search through history, His glorious acts shine through and fill me with expectation for what He wants to do next.
Click here to see some resources I have used to get God's perspective on the past to increase my hope for the future!