Proverbs 16: 3, “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy plans shall be established.”

It seems at times we fail to recognize the power and significance of the Bible stories. Many of God’s greatest lessons to us are those conveyed through the lives of characters in the Bible, especially the Old Testament but also in the New.

I see many of the Bible stories as being prophetic in nature in that they warn us of impending dangers. Many of us were taught at an early age to learn from our mistakes and also, learn from the mistakes of others. To read and contemplate the Bible stories are such cases.

Many of my sermons have been the telling of Bible stories. One that conveys a great lesson is the story of Jacob’s 11th son, Joseph, beginning in Genesis 37. Joseph was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery into Egypt. He became a prince in Egypt and later was used by God to save the Hebrew people from extinction. One lesson being, sometimes good comes from a bad situation.

In the books of First and Second Kings and First and Second Samuel, we find several stories involving David, the second king of Israel. Anyone raised in a church environment knows the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). God used a shepherd boy with a strip of leather and a smooth stone to defeat the Philistines.

Another story of David is that of his relationship with Bathsheba. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. The son became sick and died.

As the story goes, Uriah the Hittite was off fighting a war for Israel against the Ammonites (2 Samuel 11). While there, his wife Bathsheba was bathing on a rooftop and King David saw her. He sent his servants to bring her to him. David, being the king, could not be refused. On that infamous evening, Bathsheba became pregnant. David realizing his predicament arranged for Uriah to be sent to the heat of the battle where he most certainly would be killed.

After Uriah’s death, David took the pregnant Bathsheba as his wife. After their son was a few months old, the child became sick. During his illness, David fasted and prayed for God to save the child. He also was angry and showed his anger toward the servants of the palace (2 Samuel 12: 18). The child died and soon thereafter, David cleaned and anointed himself and took nourishment. When asked by the servants “Why?” he responded, “When the child was sick, there was a chance God would save him. Now that he is dead, there is no reason to further fast or hope for his life.”

2 Samuel 12: 22-23 “And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again?”

David realized it was time to move on to the next chapter in his life. Being the king of Israel, he had many responsibilities that further mourning would not benefit in any way. It was time to move on!

David and Bathsheba then became the parents of another son, Solomon, who also became king of Israel and the wisest man that ever lived.

One situation I have helped people deal with were instances in their lives that could not be changed. When working in missions, one is likely to encounter people who are at their low point in life. I well remember the women in a prison I talked to. Margie taught a Bible study there and, before the classes, I had an opportunity to talk to the inmates.

In one group, several were so depressed they almost made tears come to my eyes. They told me of being in prison for such crimes as shoplifting or marijuana possession. Some of them had less than two years left. I remember telling them, “Hang in there, make the best of the situation; but remember, this will one day be over. It will be behind you and you can move on with the rest of your lives.”

A few months later, one reminded me of my statement to them, and she went to bed every night thinking of what I had said. Knowing that someday she would have her chance to move on gave her the hope she needed to persevere. Philippians 3: 13, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”

All of us have faced such circumstances in our lives in which we thought, “Will this ever be over?” Jesus spent six hours on the cross and from that first minute, I am sure He thought the same thing, “Will this ever be over?” He, of course, knew His purpose was to redeem the world. What a shame the world hasn’t moved on to recognize His ultimate sacrifice in order that the world might be saved.

The simple Gospel truth remains: Christ Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected. The Bible teaches if we simply believe through faith this Biblical assertion, He will give us eternity. Many have doubt of the Gospel story and refuse to accept it as a certainty. One belief is that without doubt, faith is impossible. Faith would not be possible if indisputable truth and fact did exist.

Jesus lived and died 20 centuries ago. None of us were there to see the star of Bethlehem, the nails driven into Him or Him alive after the resurrection. Therefore, faith is the only belief vehicle we have. A simple faith-based belief in Him as Savior and Lord has existed for nearly 2,000 years, and remains the only salvation. Believe this by faith.

Perhaps to move on for someone is the life-changing acceptance of Jesus as Lord. To become a believer-follower of Him is a life-changing event. Jesus told Nicodemus in John chapter one, “You must be born again.” If being born again isn’t moving forward, I cannot imagine what would be.

There are times in our lives, like King David, we must move on. To put past indiscretions behind us may seem impossible, but it can be done. I have been there and so have most of you. At times, we simply have to pray, “OK, God, I give this to you to handle for me. I just can’t deal with it anymore.” At times, I have prayed this and soon felt a calming like never before.

We’ve heard said, “Every day is a new day,” or “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” That “new day,” or “first day” will never come if we don’t find the strength to move on and that power comes from our Creator.

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”