“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth,  Isaiah 54:4 (NASB) 

God remembers everything in your life, the good, the bad and the ugly. 

But doesn’t the Bible say that God forgets your sins when He forgives?

God decides not to remember your sin as sin. But God keeps a record of everything in your past and in your history for another purpose. 

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV) 

God keeps a record of your entire life for the purpose of healing the wounds in your soul. 

  • Better than that, God uses the wrong things that have happened in your life to bless you and others.

When Moses died, Joshua took over the leadership of Israel. 
Before the Israelites miraculously crossed the Jordan River, Joshua sent spies into Jericho. 

  • They narrowly escaped capture when they took refuge in a brothel. The prostitute Rahab protected them because she believed in the God of Israel. 
  • When the city of Jericho fell, Rahab’s house was preserved and she was welcomed into Israel as a convert to the true God. 
  • She became the grandmother of the grandfather of King David. 
  • Rahab is one of only four women listed in the family tree of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. 

Jesus said to the self righteous Jewish religious leaders:

 … Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. Matthew 21:31 (NIV) 

How many prostitutes have been encouraged to respond to the love of God by the story of Rahab? 

  • God uses the record of our past lives to bless us and bless others.

I once heard a very interesting missionary preacher. He told a story of a church made up mostly of converted ex prostitutes. They were wonderful street evangelists. 

  • As prostitutes they had hunted for men with shameless boldness. God used this same shameless boldness to make them wonderful evangelists. 

God forgets the sinfulness of your sin but He uses your sinful past to do wonderful things.

A quite different example is the Apostle Paul.

Paul’s sinful past was not adultery or witchcraft but self righteous religious pride. 

  • Paul’s religious ambition drove him to be an outstanding biblical scholar but there was not humility of love in his heart. His religion led him to persecute and murder followers of Jesus. 
  • Paul became an enemy of Jesus and an enemy of the God he thought he served. Then came the day when everything changed.

Acts 9:3-6 (NIV) 
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 

He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 

  • “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 

God never forgot Paul’s sin. It is recorded in the Bible, the Word of God.

  • Paul also remembered his sin.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NIV) 

  • Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. 
  • But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 

Paul was a living example of the mercy and grace that was at the heart of his message and his ministry.

If there is extreme shame in your life, be encouraged. 

“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth … Isaiah 54:4 (NASB) 

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