As we learn to apply Philippians 3:13 to our lives, and “forget those things which are in the past” we need to understand that our past can potentially hinder our growth in Christ in at least if we allow it. We need to understand the Word of God and seek direction from it to overcome the struggles of life. I am often reminded of Joseph and the struggles that he faced in Genesis 37-50. In all these things, he places his faith in God and recognizes that God will use those things not only for his benefit, but also for the benefit of others. We read his evaluation of those events in his life in Genesis 50:20 as he tells his brothers, “I know that you meant evil against me, in what you did, when you sold me into slavery, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (paraphrased by me). Joseph was able to understand that God’s plan for his life was bigger than his hopes for his present circumstances. When God was ready for Joseph to be used in a mighty way, He put him in the place He wanted him, with the experience that Joseph needed to do the work that God had prepared him for. Always remember as you face your past, that God has a purpose and plan for these events, and you will never be the person that God needs you to be without the shaping influences of the past. Do not allow those influences to cause you to become bitter toward life, allow them to make you better prepared in the present for your future.