Have you ever wondered why there are so many recollections of the past in the Bible? I’m not thinking about the historical books of the Bible, per se. They are intrinsic to understanding what came before, but that’s not what I’m thinking about here. I’m thinking about those times when someone like Paul points to the past before talking about the present. Take this verse from Acts 13.

The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country.

Acts 13:17 (NIV)

Paul is addressing the Jews and Gentiles of Pisidian Antioch on a Sabbath and starts his sermon by pointing out something God did in the past. Why? Paul spends the next eight verses recounting what God has done, up to the present. Without a doubt, there’s historical value to what Paul is saying. However, the reason for it is because of our perception of God and of faith in God. 

It’s hard to know God in the future because we can only look back on our past. In the present, we are often blinded by our circumstances. Therefore, we have to look back on what God has already done to better understand what God did and what it means to us in the present. This is what we’re seeing here in Acts 13:17-25

The past is immutable. It cannot change. We can see where we were and how we were. We can see how we changed and how our circumstances changed. We consider the past when we consider our present circumstances and our present faith. 

We look at our present circumstances (with our eyes on the past) and declare, “God got me through that, so He can do it again.” This is a regular mantra when we’re trying to encourage ourselves in our faith.

Let’s think about this. What if the past we consider is today’s past, say this morning (when it’s night) in the same day. We know God got us through it. It’s now night, so we got through it. Now, we could take it further and consider our very recent past of 10 or even 15 minutes ago. God got us through that, right?

We might find it amusing to consider looking at 10 or 15 minutes ago and saying God got me through that. Our circumstances are probably the same as they were 10 or 15 minutes ago. However, the same God who got us through 10 years ago when that thing happened, is the same God who got us through 5 years ago when the other thing happened. He’s the same God who got us through a year ago. The same God who got us through yesterday. The same God who got us through this morning. And yes, the same God who got us through 10 or 15 minutes ago.

Our circumstances probably changed from 10 years ago to 5 years ago, and probably even a year ago. However, God did not change because of our circumstances! The problem we have is we sometimes forget God doesn’t change because of circumstances. If we truly realized, and believed, that God didn’t change, then none of us would ever have any issues with faith. I’d even go so far as to say we wouldn’t call it faith anymore because it’s gone from faith to fact. This is why we look at the past to help increase our faith right now. The past is a fact.

Now, when we know God got us through 10 or 15 minutes ago, we can look at it right now. God is keeping us right now. While you are reading this, God’s got you. The next 10 minutes aren’t promised, but we can count on God getting us through them. Even if we’re called home, God still has you! If He can do 10 minutes, then he can do an hour, or two, or 15. If God can do 15 hours of keeping us in the future, he can do 24, which is a day. One day becomes two, and soon we’re able to connect our present faith with our future faith. From considering the past into the present, we can look into the future of our faith. 

This helps us to know God in the future. Which, if you consider it, may be a silly thing to think about because, as I said, God doesn’t change. Since He doesn’t change, we should easily know him at any time without having to consider our past. However, because we change, we can forget that He does not.

This is why we look to the past and see what God has done there. It’s a circle. Call it the circle of faith, if you will. My desire is to stop the circle and just know that He is.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.