Your Past Has Purpose
by Tracie Miles
Have you ever wondered if something you did, something your parents did, or something someone did against you or to you, is the reason God is allowing hardship in your life? If your honest answer to this question is yes, then I can relate. I entertained those thoughts for many years, confident that God was going to give me the punishment I deserved for my sin. But I’m here to tell you—He never did.
Jesus’ disciples had this same mind-set with regard to the blind man in John 9:1-2: “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. ‘Rabbi,’ his disciples asked him, ‘why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?’”
Jesus lovingly put their confusion to rest: “‘It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered. ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him’” (v. 3).
The blind man had endured a serious handicap, immense suffering, and undeserved physical and emotional challenges for decades—all so that Jesus could be glorified. He may have lived his entire life feeling inferior, unloved, rejected, excluded, and purposeless, completely unaware that Jesus had plans to use him as proof of the power of God in someone’s life. But that all changed the day the blind man met Jesus.
God allows pain, struggles, and sin to be a part of our lives, and maybe if necessary, He even causes them. But regardless of our circumstances, He not only promises healing and restoration, He also promises purpose from the pain if we are willing to trust Him enough to see it through.
Through His grace, God showed me that not only did He have a purpose for me, but that He wanted to specifically use my past for that purpose, if I was willing. I am constantly reminded that He uses all experiences, good and bad, to give us purpose, equip us to fulfill that purpose, and glorify Him.
God pulls us out of the deepest pits—regardless of how we got there—erases our shame, and replaces it with redemption and purpose. When we seek Him above all else we discover that true obedience to God is not just trying to live by what the Bible says, but also recognizing how God has called each of us to minister and comfort others through the experiences we have survived.
Despite the experiences of the past, your life still matters to God. You matter to God because He loves you, and He has had a plan to use you and your past all along. When we let go of our shame, regret, and fear, and fully begin to embrace that truth, lives are transformed—our own, and the lives of those we touch.
The past is not meant just to be survived and forgotten, but to help us become overcomers who can use our experiences to glorify God. When our souls find divine purpose, our hearts find true healing. And purpose makes life worth living.
Sweet friend, the time has come for you to embrace the vision God has had for your life all along, which you may have been unable to see through the blinders of your past. You may have spent a lifetime wondering if your life still matters, or believing that your past prevents you from being loved by God or from making a difference in this world. But the truth is that your past has made you who you are and equipped you for a unique, glorious, joy-filled, and God-designed purpose that you would have never thought was possible.
We’d like to hear from you. Please share your comments below or like us on your Facebook page. Be sure to check back each month for more articles and products available at your local Christian bookstore.