Our past, if filled with pain and hurt, can cast long shadows on our present. Thankfully, the Bible gives us God’s timeless guidance on how to release this spiritual weight. In this blog post, we’ll share 7 Bible verses about letting go of the past to help you move on in newfound freedom in Christ.
But first, let’s explore why the Christian approach to overcoming the past is different from other worldviews.
The Christian Perspective on Letting Go
Secular and populist methods of leaving our past behind tend to promote self-empowerment, self-love, and self-resilience. Moving on is thus often a matter of our willpower alone.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, our Christian faith goes beyond this self-focused lifestyle. It teaches us to both acknowledge and let go of the past while also inviting God to be the strength and center of our healing process.
On a relational level, this involves forgiving others, seeking God’s forgiveness, and asking for forgiveness from those we’ve wronged.
This process brings our letting go into a deeper spiritual and moral sphere, rooted in God’s Word.
What does a Christian view on moving on look like in action?
- Forgiving others: Jesus wants us to forgive “seventy times seven” times (Matthew 18:22). This isn’t about having a literal running tab of others’ wrongs. Instead, God tells us to always keep a generous spirit of forgiveness. This frees us from any bitterness and resentment that may hinder both parties (us and others) from letting go of the past.
- Sincerely seeking God’s forgiveness: 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we sincerely repent, God alone grants us the true spiritual freedom to release our guilt and shame, beyond our own self-valuations.
- Asking others for forgiveness: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Humbly seeking others’ forgiveness displays our genuine hope to mend past issues. Healing may take time, especially when hurt runs deep, but it is key to our shared freedom from old wounds.
With all of this in mind, let us now delve into 7 Bible verses about letting go of the past that’ll help you move on with God.
Here are 7 Bible verses about letting go of the past and moving on.
1. Isaiah 43:18-19
Life Application: Isaiah’s prophecies once gave hope to the captive Israelites in Babylon. By His goodness, God promised a new beginning for them despite their past mistakes.
Similarly, when we repent and turn to Him in faith, God assures us of new beginnings. He is fully able to create a path forward, no matter how improbable, regardless of our previous personal struggles.
In short, Isaiah 43:18-19 stresses the importance of recognizing and celebrating God’s present work in our lives as we trust Him to help us leave the past behind.
2. Philippians 3:13-14
Life Application: The Apostle Paul wrote these words while enduring immense hardships. Yet, despite ongoing challenges, he talked about our need to focus on heavenly goals, not our earthly situations past or present.
This lesson remains relevant today.
Like Paul, who was once Saul, our past is marked by mistakes and burdens. However, through God’s true forgiveness in Christ, we are called to pursue our divine calling with steady commitment. The past should not limit our current and future willingness to act according to His will.
1 Corinthians 9:24 reminds us, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” To effectively pursue God’s goals, we must look forward, not backward.
3. Ephesians 4:31-32 (Popular among Bible verses about letting go of the past)
Life Application: Setting our sights on God’s heavenly goals holds great value. Additionally, Ephesians 4:31-32 gives us a simultaneous approach to letting go of the past.
It centers on our willingness to forgive others, allowing us to release pent up bitterness and anger
While challenging to do, especially in deeply hurtful situations, forgiveness gives us room for healing and opens our hearts up to showing kindness and compassion. This fosters spiritual growth and honors God.
As Colossians 3:13 further reminds us, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Struggling to forgive someone? Let these Bible verses help you.
4. Psalm 103:12
Life Application: The Bible repeatedly assures us of God’s forgiveness. However, this beautiful and concise verse shows us the incredible extent of His mercy and grace.
When we truly repent, we not only receive forgiveness, but are also encouraged to let go of our old guilt and shame. God has already wiped away our transgressions, granting us His precious gift of freedom. We don’t earn this gift through our own merit or ‘goodness’; it is given to us out of God’s grace.
In short, God’s forgiveness knows no bounds, carrying the only true power to spiritually free us from our past. It is up to us to truly seek and receive it.
5. Romans 8:1
Life Application: Romans 8:1 reaffirms God’s assurance of acceptance and forgiveness when we sincerely repent and turn to Him. In Christ, we are liberated from divine condemnation.
God’s timeless Word assists us in releasing guilt and painful memories, opening the path to a new and promising future in Him.
In short, John 8:36 states it simply: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” As Christians, this is a profound reality to behold.
Be assured of His promise to forgive! Here are several Bible verses on Jesus dying for our sins.
6. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Life Application: This verse points to the transformative power of Christ in our lives.
When we choose to believe in Jesus, God supernaturally makes us new and grants us a fresh start. We leave our old selves behind as we step into our new identity in Christ.
Knowing this eternal truth helps us gradually let go of the burden of past mistakes. We can truly embrace our spiritual renewal as we move on, led by God’s divine purpose.
Ezekiel 36:26 echoes this when he wrote, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
7. Matthew 11:28-30
Life Application: Our past often weighs heavily on our hearts. Painful experiences wound us as we replay the same old mistakes in our minds.
Yet, when we truly surrender our lives to Christ, he promises to bless us with genuine spiritual peace and rest. By trusting him, we slowly learn to let go of our troubled past that God has already forgiven.
Psalm 55:22 reinforces this: “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” In short, lean on Jesus, and he will carry you through.