The secret is in not looking back, but looking forward. Accepting Christ's forgiveness for our past and future failures, trusting Christ and His will for your life and for your hopes and dreams.
To live a Christ centered life you must not lose hope. We will be constantly pressed, challenged, laughed at, and ignored by others, and those "fence sitters" who don't have enough evidence or the common sense to look for the evidence to come to the realization that Jesus is Lord.
Charles Stanley, in his tape called Holding On To Hope tells us the story of Hannah, in 1 Samuel 1: 18.
In this story, a man named Elkanah, had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had some children, but Hannah had none. In those times it was important that a wife be able to give her husband a son. If she couldn't she was usually blamed, even though it may not have been her fault.
Peninnah would torment Hannah over her hardship of not bearing a child. Every year, year after year, Elkahah and his families would go to the Tabernacle at Shiloh to make a sacrifice, and celebrate the Lord, and Peninnah would make Hannah feel terrible, making her cry so much that she could not eat.
Hannah continued her appeal to the Lord that she would give birth to a son. She had made a promise that if she would have a son, she would give him to the Lord for all of his life.
In her time of sorrow, while being harassed by Peninnah, while being so overwhelmed with her circumstances, Hannah kept her hope in the Lord. And the Lord blessed her with a child, and Hannah rejoiced.
In this story Hannah was faced with the same trials and barriers that many of us face when we hope. Her circumstances were painful and saddening.
How many of us have hopes for things that we don't know if they come to be, or even if they are things we should be hoping for, or if we even deserve to receive fulfillment of these hopes.
Dr. Stanley gives us some "Hope Stealers" that will distract us: