I think too many people lose sight of the purpose that their past represents. Yes! Even the past that is filled with not so good things serves a purpose...for good!
The Apostle Paul said, "Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." (Philippians 3:7)
When we become "new" in our relationship with Christ (salvation), we are to put away the old (past) and put on the new (present) and live for Him the best that we can. But what happens to our past?
It is true that God throws our sin into the sea of forgetfulness as far as the east is from the west. (That's pretty far!) Our past no longer defines who we are but yet our past still serves a purpose, it wasn't for nothing!
Our past, now forgiven, serves as a stepping stone to exactly the place that God has brought us to. It isn't about what happened back then that is important any longer, but instead, what is happening now? How is God using our past to perfect His plan in our lives?
Paul was always striving to do his best for the Lord. As I look at my own past, I can see how God brought me through so many bad things in order to mold me into the person that I am today. As I strive to do my best for the Lord, I can see the purpose that my past has for my present and my future.
Life can be a struggle at times. Believe me, I could write for days the fire that I've survived. But instead of looking at the pain in my past, I recognize the purpose it all had.
I know too many people, yes Christians too, that still keep one foot in the past. They can't forgive someone, maybe themselves and their constant "blast from the past" keeps them from receiving all the good things He has in store for them.
If your past is confining you or you tend to blame your past for where you stand today...STOP! God said that this life is a race and we need to finish well. I can't think of any athlete to ever win a race by running backwards.
So, let's never forget what lies behind us but consider it joy to press on, towards the prize that awaits us in our present and future. Your past absolutely has a purpose!