[H]e does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:10-12 (NIV)
Everyone you know has past failures and has fallen multiple times because human nature is frail and weak, unable to resist sin in all of its many forms. It crouches around the corner, waiting to pounce on you when you least expect it. If you don’t believe that, think of your particular struggle, your greatest past failures and weaknesses. Is it money? Or lust? Or one of the many sins of the tongue? Now think of how you have tried to eradicate this from your life — the prayers for strength when you are tempted, the constant turning away – but no matter how hard you have tried, it should be easy to remember some past failures when that sin caught you by surprise and you slipped up. We all do it. Don’t let worldly temptations lead to sorrow.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak and you might want to go around carrying that guilt of past failures, but God has forgiven you and forgotten your transgressions. Many times our real problem is we are not able to forgive ourselves, to stop replaying those things in our minds, some of them happened before you became a Christian and you didn’t even know (in some cases) you were transgressing.
Forgiven Don’t Be Discouraged
But Jesus is the name above all names, and He came to bear our sin so that we might be released from past failures to live again. So we can lay it down, too. Sometimes the guilt and painful reminders are a work of Satan. I find it curious that I suddenly remember things that happened 10, 20, or even 30 years ago that were wrong. Why am I suddenly thinking about this after all this time? Sometimes it is hard to know if our memories are coming from unforgiveness or as a thorn in the flesh from Satan.
But he has no hold on us, so when I find myself in that position, I stop what I am doing, ask God to forgive me for that and then I tell Satan to move along. Because we can turn to God and come directly into the throne room and ask God’s forgiveness and obtain it right away. Prayer changes things.
Past failures have no real hold over us other than what we give them.
The Old has Gone the New is Come
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
Past failures are not behind us any longer; they are nailed to the cross and we bear it no more.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”Peter 2:24 (NIV)
Jesus bore all of our sins, past, present and future, so past failures are not really failures after all.
They have been justified.