God took all of my failures—every single one—and gave me as a gift the perfect righteousness, life and success of Jesus—as though I have loved God and served my neighbor as myself all of my days, without ever failing. Frankly, “as though” misses the mark, because to God, I have actually succeeded. It is not “as though” I loved and served perfectly, it is “I did!” His removal of what was and His gift of what is—the life and success of Jesus—is that true and real. I am actually heading toward the success of Jesus in the days ahead for me. (You are too.) That’s a marvel! And that’s life in Christ.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have consequences from failure and the failures done to me that require my involvement; I do. But I don’t deal with them alone, or under the scrutinizing view of an angry God commanding me to fix things before He will fix me. That’s not the gospel. That’s not the truth. In all things, He is with me, His son, and we are perfect together—just right—even in the fallout of past failure.
My life—all of it—is hidden in Him, so whenever the haunting returns, I talk with Him, my faithful Friend, who comforts me and takes the trauma out of the past. I have been redeemed by the Redeemer Himself—He succeeded! It worked!—so I trust Him to walk with me whenever the past returns to haunt, and I am saved again.
To the Christians at Philippi, Paul writes about his past and his future with Jesus:
Philippians 3:7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. (In other words, they are for Him to do something about.) 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss (good, bad, everything) because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law (in other words, a relationship of doing the right thing in order to get God to give him something, which is over), but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith (the gift!). 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. (Parenthesis mine.)
Life is with Jesus—today and tomorrow, and concerning the haunting of the past. You’re good with God.
(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, "God & The Past that Haunts Us," and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, scroll down this blog page, or click