The faith you carry now
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is 1 Corinthians 13. The whole chapter covers the subject of love, but verses 4-7 describe it in detail. I memorized this in my teens in the Living Bible paraphrase and it is still one of my favorite wordings: Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
So - in the quote above - what does forgetting any doubt have to do with love? Or the faith you carry now? Faith is seen in always believing the best of the one you love. Forgetting the past is written between the lines where it says, "will hardly even notice when others do it wrong." Other versions say that love "keeps no record of wrongs." (Remember that this is a description of God's love for us. When we show love's characteristics, we are showing the world what God's love looks like.)
Right now I'm keeping a food journal - a record of what I eat each day. I'm not doing this to lose weight, though that would be a nice benefit if it happens. I'm doing this to make sure I stick to the diet that might help me find what foods my body is reacting to. Trust me when I say that forgetting about chocolate or black tea is NOT easy! I miss these friends and it's only been a few days since we parted ways. But right now it is a good thing for me to forget them (and many other things) in order to perhaps, hopefully heal my body.
In a similar way if we were to keep a gratitude journal or a record of things gone right instead of things gone wrong, we would find it a lot easier to let go of grudges. We wouldn't harbor envy or jealousy or feel superior to others when things are going our way. We would not grow irritated and impatient and would meet meanness with kindness. We would forget the things that are behind, the things done against us in the past. We would forget our own foolish errors in judgment. We could bring our sins to God and let Him put them behind Him.
Did you know that He puts our sins so far apart that they can never meet again? As east never meets west, so far has He removed our transgressions against Him. If we ask Him to.
God is in the business of forgetting because He longs for reconciliation. We talk about love, but He is love. We cannot have true love apart from God because God is love's source. And love seeks to forgive and forget and move on to do the things He made for us to do.
He has placed us in this time. Our one life here has a valuable purpose. But we aren't going to discover that purpose unless we trust Him to show us how. Faith works itself out in love. Love is patient and kind and unlike my food journal, doesn't keep a written account of things done against us. That's not to say that we can never journal our hurts, but we're not supposed to keep the record as an accusatory statement against someone. Write it down to let it go. And sometimes it's a good idea to shred the record in that final act of forgiveness. To help us forget the past and let faith and love carry us on to do the next thing God puts in our path.
That was part of how I imagined Deborah encouraging Barak before the coming war with the terrorists in their land, because Deborah knew Barak was going to need all the faith and trust in God he possessed to win the day. He needed to forget his past failures and terrible hurts. He had to be willing to let faith carry him.
May that same faith carry you tonight. Be blessed.