Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The Greek origin of the word for remember is mimnéskó (mim-nace’-ko) meaning to actively, or intentionally, remember. When God created you, He created you to have a sound mind. Your mind is capable of making decisions, analyzing situations, sending signals throughout your body, but most importantly storing information. Your mind works like how iCloud, OneDrive, or Google Drive works. It constantly stores information throughout the day. You can have good storage which is meant to teach you, equip you, grow you, and bring you pleasure. Or you can have bad storage which is meant to destroy you, make you feel guilty, bring anxiety, and cause pain. But we are the operators of our thoughts, we can control what goes in and what needs to come out.
The question is: how do we “not remember the former things?”
Notice: God doesn’t say to forget the former things. This is key. Forgetting would be ignorant. You have a sound mind that stores useful information, and even the most painful memories can provide wisdom and insight to your future. He simply says not to actively remember. Things from your past, whether good or bad, shouldn’t be on replay mode in your mind. You shouldn’t be thinking about the best day ever that you had in 2013. God is doing a new thing. You shouldn’t be thinking about that terrible experience you had as a child. God is doing a new thing. You shouldn’t be thinking about that embarrassing moment that happened five minutes ago. God is doing a new thing.
We have to redirect our thoughts by not recalling the things of yesterday but focusing on the hope of our tomorrow which is in Christ Jesus. God tells us what to think about:
“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy ‒ meditate on these things”
So, again, how do we “not remember the former things?”
By fixing our eyes on Christ and anticipating the new things which are coming through Him.
He has a plan for us all. A plan to prosper us and not to harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future. But we can’t perceive the plan, the new thing, that He has for us when we’re focused on the old. Even the good things, God is saying, “I can do better than that.” Let’s expect more from God and wait on Him to bring us to the great things that are in store for us.