Regrets

Burden of regret

Burden of regret

Regrets are something that most people have. Regrets are a sadness or disappointment over something that had happened in the past. The past might be the immediate past, or something that had occurred many years before.

Young children may have some regrets. They regret taking that cookie they were told not to take. Or maybe regret getting caught taking the cookie. Others may regret something they said or did to someone that got them in trouble. Many of these regrets are quickly forgotten and the child moves on.

Later, when in the middle school and high school years, the regrets stay about the same. Not really changing, not having much of an impact upon the person. When the regrets really begin to happen is when the person gets a little older, or into the middle years of life.

Most people look back on their lives and have a lot of regret for things that they had said or done in the years past. Some of those things were done in the name of fun. Others were done because of a lack of knowledge or wisdom. Still others were done on purpose at the time of being done, but had a lasting negative impact on the life of someone.

Choices made

Actions and words that a person can do and say can have an impact for many years upon some people. How many people can remember a harsh word said by someone they loved and trusted when they were young, and now they are much older? How many can remember being the one who said that harsh word when they were much younger and to this day regret ever having said it?

Many believers in the church have the same problem of living with regret. They regret their former way of life. They regret failing God time and again. The regret not taking the opportunities that God had placed in front of them out of fear.

While it is good to regret doing wrong and sinning before God or others, it is not good to stay in that regret. Regret keeps a person living in the past. Regret does not allow a person to move on. Regret does not allow a person to live the abundant life that God had planned for them.

One thing that regret does that most people do not see is that it tells God that He is not big enough to forgive the past.

1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is true that every person has made a mistake in his past. There are things that both you and I have done that now we regret. All those things that we did wrong fall under the category of sin. Sin on purpose, or sin by accident, or sin by omission, all is sin.

As a believer in Jesus, you have to confess all those sins and repent of them. That is you must admit that you had done wrong and strive to never return down that same path again. If you have not confessed your sins or repented of them, then you are not really following Jesus, which means you are not saved.

I'm Sorry

If you have confessed your sins, God in His great love and mercy is willing to forgive you and purify you of all those sins.

Psalm 103:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

When God purifies you of your sins, He casts them out as far as the east is from the west. Think about that. No matter how far you travel east, you will never meet the west. You have to turn direction to meet the west. God has gotten rid of those sins, never to be remembered any more.

Micah 7:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

God has so much love and compassion for you that He will get rid of all your sins forevermore. They will be cast out to where no one can ever get to them again.

Now you may ask, what does all this have to do with regret? Glad you asked.

Going back to what was said at the beginning: regret is a sorrow, sadness or disappointment over something that was had happened in the past.

Many Christians have repented of a past sin, but have not forgiven themselves or gotten past the regret of doing it. They are constantly going to the altar asking God to forgive them of some past sin or regret.

If you believe the words found in the bible, you will know that Jesus has already paid for that regret and forgiven you of it. If God can forgive you of your sin, why can’t you forgive yourself? You are not better than God.

Let It Go

Let go of the past and look forward to now and the future. The past is already done, good or bad, and there is nothing more you can do about it. Once you seek forgiveness it is gone and done away with. God no longer remembers it.

Stop living with regret and start living for God. Jesus said that He came to give you a full life.

John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The world and Satan wants you to live in bondage to regret of your past. God wants you to live a full life in forgiveness, mercy and grace.

Every time you are reminded of something in your past that was wrong that you have already repented of, remind the devil that Jesus has forgotten that sin, and you do not need to regret it anymore. You have a future as a child of God, an heir to all that heaven holds. Do not live in the past. Live for today and the future.

No Regrets

Take all your regrets and mistakes and give them to Jesus. Let Him cast them out. And don’t pick them up again. Do not live with regrets anymore. Jesus has paid the price for them.

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Jeremiah 33:20-21 God’s Faithfulness

“This is what the LORD says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, then my covenant with David my servant–and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me–can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.'” Jeremiah 33:21-21

God had made a covenant promise to David that he would always have an heir on the throne forever. During the time God judged Judah and cast them into exile in Babylon, God had restated this promise to the people. His promise is so strong that God said that if anyone could break the occurrence of day and night, then, and only then, would God’s covenant with David be broken.

As a believer and a non-Jewish person, one may wonder about how this is with him. As a whole, most people all over the world are not an Israelite or of the Levitical priesthood.

God’s promise to David was fulfilled through Jesus. Jesus came through the line of David and is a King, and He will live forever.

When you had chosen to repent of your sins and accept what Jesus had done for you on the cross, you came into a covenant with God. You agreed to follow His ways and trust Him. You agreed to become a changed person and leave your life of sin. As you did this, Jesus also came into a covenant with you to remove your sins, to save you for eternity, and to change your heart.

No person can change the order of day and night, no matter how hard they try. In the same way, you cannot change God’s covenant. You may be able to break your side of the covenant, thus voiding the covenant, but you cannot break God’s side of it.

God has promised forgiveness and life to you. This was made to the Israelites while they were going into captivity, but God upheld His side of the agreement and restored them. In the same way God made the agreement with you, while you lived in sin and death–captivity. He is giving you life and will continue to do so.

Trust God’s promise to give you life today, even when going through captivity of this world. He is faithful.

I pray today that you will know the covenant God has given you; that you will know the life Jesus is offering you; that you will be the changed person God wants you to be; and that you will trust the promises of God.

Jeremiah 25:11 There Is Hope

This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Jeremiah 25:11

The Israelites in Judah had chosen to follow false gods, despite many warnings from the prophets. God had chosen to punish them by allowing Babylon to overrun the nation and place them all in captivity. Through the prophets, God told the Israelites to go into captivity and serve the king of Babylon, a gentile king, for a time. This time of service and punishment would only last for a set amount of time. It would end in seventy years, there was the hope of restoration.

Living in sin will always have a price that a person must pay. The ultimate price is death. It starts out with spiritual death and separation from God, and ends with physical and spiritual death for all eternity.

Those who have never chosen to follow Jesus are destined to be punished for eternity. Those who have chosen to follow Jesus have had their sins removed. The punishment is no longer there. However, when believers step back into sin and choose to not follow Jesus for a time, there may be punishments set in place by God.

God is a loving Father who does not allow His children to do wrong without any correction or punishment. He disciplines those He loves.

There may be times when you have chosen a wrong path that was not God’s path for you. You chose to step into sin for a time. God may discipline you in order to get you to focus back on Him. He does not want you to stay in sin and be punished with death for eternity.

The good news is that the discipline is only for a set amount of time. It is not for eternity. The discipline for the Israelites lasted for only seventy years. God set a limit for it when He put it in place. He will also place limits on the discipline in your life.

The consequences of living in sin may be for a short time or a longer time, but when there is repentance, it is not for eternity. Go through the discipline and learn to follow God correctly. Know that it is only for a set time. With the forgiveness found in Jesus, you will still live for eternity. Do not stay in that sin, but know the hope you have in Jesus.

I pray today that you will follow Jesus with all your life; that you will learn all lessons from God; that God will strengthen you in all discipline; and that you will shine for God after any discipline.

 

Jeremiah 5:7 Why Should God Forgive You?

“Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.” Jeremiah 5:7

Some of the people of Israel were crying out to God for forgiveness and mercy as He was pouring out punishment upon them. They were being overrun and put into captivity and exile because of all their sins. God asked the question as to why He should forgive them.

God then points out that the Israelites children had walked away from Him. They refused to follow Him and went after others gods. Just like a loving father, God had provided abundantly for all of their needs, yet they still walked away from Him. Now He questions why He should forgive them.

Things are no different today. There are people who have chosen to follow God, but after a time, chose to walk away from God’s ways. Some may not completely abandon God, but they choose a path that does not follow, nor honor God in any way. They choose to live in sin on purpose.

It is one thing to have never known God, live in sin and then ask for forgiveness. However, it is a completely different thing to commit to living for God, but then walk away from Him on purpose, then ask for forgiveness.

As a human, you may say that person does not deserve any forgiveness. God looks at that person with amazingly great love and compassion, and wants to forgive. God looked at you with that same love and compassion and wants to forgive you. His desire is that no one is lost or needs to be punished.

God does not enjoy punishing people, but His holiness requires it, if they refuse to follow Him.

No matter what you have done, or how you have hurt God, He is always right there waiting to forgive you. If you question His ability to forgive you, think about His love for you. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you. If He was willing to do that, He will be willing to forgive you, if you ask Him too, and turn from all your sins.

Will you change today and allow God to forgive you?

Or will you stay in your sins?

I pray today that you will know God’s great love and compassion for you; that you will turn from your sins; that you will allow God to forgive you; and that you will give God a reason to forgive you.

Danger Of Past Hurt

People get hurt by other people on a regular basis. This is more true with the more friends and family that you have. If you only have a few friends or very little to no family, the chance of getting hurt drops dramatically, but you also have a lot less chance of being loved and loving someone.

In today’s society, many people are blaming their actions on someone else. They look back to a time when they were a child and got hurt by a parent, a sibling, a relative or some other friend. Usually this hurt was something that occurred over and over again, over a longer period of time.

Being hurt by someone is something that will happen. If it has not happened recently, just wait it is coming. The difference is how much that hurt really hurts.

When an enemy does something against a person, most people just accept it, because they half expected it to happen. Very few people expect to be treated nicely by someone who is an enemy. In fact, with most of the world, if they are being treated nicely, chances are they are friends and not enemies.

Treating the enemy nicely is something that God talks about and even commands.

Luke 6:27-36 New International Version (NIV)
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

However, what I want to look at is past hurts and the dangers of those hurts. As I stated above, the cases where someone gets hurt the worst is with a loved one, usually a family member. The one you love is the one that can and usually will hurt you the most. When they do something that hurts, it goes deep into the heart and soul of a person, because they lost trust and love that should have been there.

Many people grow up mad at their parents because of something that they had done wrong to them when they were a young child. Some of those things are very wrong, in both the eyes of the law and the eyes of God. Some of those things were done on purpose, with the purpose to hurt or take advantage of.

Other things were done by mistake and not knowing the best way to do things. Every person has things that they need to learn. In the process of learning those things, often there are many mistakes made. Many parents discipline in a way that was too harsh, causing pain and anger for many years to come. This is part of the learning process. Some parents learn over time how to do things better, while some never seem to learn to do it the best way.

The danger of being hurt comes in how that hurt is held on to. Thousands of family members are fighting with each other their entire lives, because they refuse to forgive each other. I have seen parents go to their death-bed refusing to forgive a child of some wrong done to them many years before. I have also seen children watch their parent die and refusing to forgive that parent of a wrong done when they were young.

Bitterness sets into the heart of a person that has been done wrong to, and he refuses to forgive and move on. Children refuse to talk to parents. Parents refuse to talk to children. Siblings refuse to talk to other siblings. All these things because of a past hurt and the bitterness that has set in.

With bitterness, there is no real joy in life. People look to things or other people to try to bring that joy. Always looking for the next thrill or person to love. All the while refusing to look to God.

Ephesians 4:31 New International Version (NIV)

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

God wants a person to get rid of all bitterness. Many, however, will say that they are not bitter. They say that they just cannot forgive the person and will not deal with them anymore. That is a sign of bitterness and not love.

We are told to forgive:

Ephesians 4:32 New International Version (NIV)

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

God had forgiven you of all the wrongs you have done to Him. Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for your sins, so that you could be forgiven. Think about how many times you have hurt God with a sin, both small and large. Yet, God loved you enough to forgive, rather than holding a grudge against you and being bitter.

Hebrews 12:15-17 New International Version (NIV)

15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Do not allow the root of bitterness to grow and manifest itself in your life. Just like a little cancer cell in the body grows to the point of killing a person, so a little bitterness can grow and kill you. It can kill you and others around you. It sets a pattern in your life and the lives you touch, to where others catch that bitter root.

God does not want to see you ate up by bitterness and anger, because of a past hurt. He wants you to work at forgiving and showing His love to the person who has hurt you in the past.

If you have been hurt in the past by someone, give it to God. Ask Him to show you His love for you and His great love for the other person who hurt you.

Ask God to show you how much He has forgiven you, so that you can work at forgiving the other person. Ask God for strength to forgive and move on, getting rid of all bitterness.

The hurt and pain may always be there, but love can override those things. Relationships can be rebuilt in God. As long as you and the other person are alive it is still possible to mend that relationship. There is always a chance to forgive. God will make a way for it to happen if you allow Him to do so.

Isaiah 25:7-8 Death Will Be Destroyed

On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:7-8

At the time that Isaiah was speaking this, Israel as a whole nation did not exist. It had already been split into two smaller nations and both were now being destroyed and overcome by other nations. The destruction and captivity of the people was in the process.

Yet, as this destruction is occurring, Isaiah prophecies about the world being blessed on the very site God was in the process of destroying. Nearly a thousand years later, Jesus would walk on that very mountain and bring a blessing to the world.

One thing that is a shroud that covers every nation and every person that walks on this earth is death. Death is stronger than taxes or any government in the world. While many things and people are extremely powerful in this world, nothing has more power on mankind than death.

Everyone will die. Some scientists devote their lives to studying ways to defeat death. Death does not care if you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, or if you have done great things or not. It will get you.

Yet, when Jesus came to the earth, He came with the purpose to destroy death. Death was brought onto this earth through sin. Without sin, death has no power at all.

Along with removing the shroud of death over all people, God will remove the disgrace of the people. The disgrace is the sin each person has done. God has treated every person on this earth with perfect love, yet, each person has chosen to sin against Him, to their own shame and disgrace.

Jesus, in His great love, has paid the price for that disgrace and is willing to remove it. He removed it on the hill of Mount Calvary.

Look to Jesus for your life. The things of this world will pass away and physical death will come, but your spirit can live for eternity. Jesus is willing to remove your shame of sin and clothe you in righteousness.

Are you trusting Him today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your savior; that you will allow Jesus to remove all sin from your life; that you will accept the abundant, eternal life God has for you; and that you will not fear death.

Isaiah 19:22 A Strike, Then Repair

The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. Isaiah 19:22

Egypt was one of the many nations that God had planned to strike and break down. They had refused to follow Him, so He chose to strike them. During the process of being struck down, the Egyptians would turn to God and cry out to Him. God would hear their cries and stop the time of destruction and heal them. He would pour out blessings on Egypt in the end.

Punishment comes in many forms all around the world. It occurs with individuals, all the way up to entire nations. Most nations are very quick to punish someone for doing something wrong. The purpose of the punishment is to make the person pay for the wrong that they did.

Once the punishment is over, however, very few nations or people, strive to rebuild the person or nation back up again. Once a person is punished, most will leave that person there in the position, saying that is the price that is paid for doing wrong. The individual has to fight for himself to build himself back up.

God works in a different way. His purpose of punishment is to get the person to focus back on Him. Once the purpose is accomplished, God will build that person back up.

God listens to the cries of every person in this world. As that person cries out repentance and seeks forgiveness, God is ready to forgive and build that person back up correctly.

In your own life you must realize God may be allowing you to go through a touch time right now to get your focus back on Him. Turn to Him and allow Him to build you up.

Along with getting repaired yourself, work to build others up who have harmed you. There will be people who have done you wrong. As they seek forgiveness, give it to them. And then work to build them back up.

Those who have made bad choices in their life give you an opportunity to love and build up in Jesus. Don’t force the person to stay down. Show God’s love and mercy to them and lift them up from the mud. Allow God to use you to rebuild their lives for Him.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand to rebuild lives; that you will learn from God’s corrections in your life; that God will use you to build others up; and that you will cry out to God for your own life and the lives of others.