Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!


In Isaiah 43:18 God states, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Ha! Easier said than done, God! Am I right? Can you relate?

What kind of “former things” do you have? What kind of “past” do you have? Truth be told, we’re loaded with abuse, addictions, affairs, divorce, ridicule, failure, poor choices, and big mistakes. And sometimes, no matter how far removed we are from some of our “former things,” we just can’t seem to let them go.

But our “former things” also include good things like successes, achievements, promotions, honors, awards, wonderful memories of friends, family, church, school, etc. And we love to bask in those glory days as we remember those good times. But, here’s the thing…if we live life longing for the glory days we once had–trying to recreate that “special something” we once had in our past–we’ll make ourselves miserable in our present.

Going back to the verse, it’s not a suggestion from God, it’s a command. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” If God were to expand on this verse, explaining it in a more contemporary style, He might say something like:

  • “You’ve got to work through your issues from your past.”
  • “Hold on loosely to your former things.”
  • “Be willing to move on, press on, change, adapt.”
  • “Stop trying to relive or recreate the good old days–it’s so counterproductive.”
  • “Don’t get stuck ‘way back there’ and continue to drag that mess forward with you.”
  • “Don’t be a victim of your past–be victorious in your present.”
  • “Don’t be blasted by (or even biased about) your past–be blessed by your present and your future.”

Why might God say these things? Because He goes on in verse 19 by saying, “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” You see, even now, God is doing a new thing in you. Despite all your ugly “former things,” God is doing a new thing. In the midst of your frustrations, irritations, and aggravations, God is doing a new thing. He continues in verse 19, “…I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland for my people…my chosen…to drink.”

You see, that’s that kind of loving, caring, amazing, great big God we have. Just when we think we’re at the end of the road, He makes a pathway in our wilderness. Just when we think our lives are a mess, He makes streams in our wastelands. Just when we think our well has run dry and we have nothing left to give, He provides water in our desert so we, His people, can be refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated, revived, recharged, and restored.

God is up to something. Even when we can’t see it or feel it. He reassures us in Jeremiah 29:11 by saying, “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” He’s working to bring you hope. He’s planning your future…even now…as you read this post. 🙂

Shake your past. Let God shape your future.

In what way is God doing a new thing in you?


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  1. Bill Pearce on said:

    Yes, absolutely true…really hard to do, but is a must for forward movement toward what God intends! Thanks.

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