Q: I know God has forgiven me for all the bad things I did when I was younger, but I just can't get them out of my mind, and it really depresses me. Why can't I forget the past? -- C.R.
A: I'm confident that when we get to Heaven, all those memories will be washed away, and we will be overwhelmed with the wonder of God's forgiveness and love. The Bible says, "When Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
Why, then, doesn't God erase our memory of those things right now? Perhaps one reason is to remind us of just how much we owe God for our salvation. We don't deserve His mercy -- but God loves us in spite of our sin, and He sent His Son into the world to provide the way for us to be forgiven and saved. The Bible says, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
God doesn't want us to be haunted by our memories of the past. The Apostle Paul did terrible things as a young man, seeking to destroy the Christian faith -- and he would never forget them. But they always reminded him of a far greater truth -- the truth of God's grace to him in Christ. Let his reaction be yours: "Forgetting what is behind ... I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).
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When memories threaten you, turn your heart and mind to Christ and what He has done for you. The Bible says, "Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything" (Ephesians 5:19-20).
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2017 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.