How many years did you waste before you repented and surrendered all to Jesus? How many years were eaten up by the cankerworm of sin and rebellion? Now you know you are forgiven, but wouldn’t you love to get back those years and live them for the glory of the Lord?

In his final days, Paul looked back over his life and testified, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8, NKJV).

Paul says, “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). In other words, “Forget your past and press on in Jesus!”

Satan’s favorite form of harassment is bringing up your past to scare you. He will try to persuade you that an old addiction or lust is going to rise up in your heart and take you back to the old life. He’ll use every weapon in his arsenal to bring you down with fear.

It’s true that you may feel the pangs of remorse as long as you live. Yes, the memories will keep you humble, but in God’s eyes, your past is a dead issue. “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…my great army which I sent among you” (Joel 2:25 NKJV). As far as condemnation and guilt are concerned, God says, “Walk with confidence and freedom into the future!”

We see a picture of such restoration in the New Testament when Jesus healed a man with a withered hand. “Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other” (Matthew 12:13). You see, when Jesus restores you, he also heals the wounds.

Beloved, take those old wounds — the worries and regrets about your wasted years — and let God restore to you all the years that were taken away. Press on toward the prize of your high calling in him!