The Cure For Regret
No one leaves the planet without wishing they could go back in time…go back to a moment of weakness, a poor decision, words that should not have been said and actions we wish we’d never done. We’re all stricken by the same affliction. It’s called regret. And only God can free us from its clutches. He alone sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins; even for every mistake we’ve ever made.
God’s Word promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9, ESV) Forever and ever living without regret. If we can believe it, we need to follow Paul the Apostle’s advice. He said, “…one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…” (Philippians 3:13b, ESV)
Open Heart Surgery
All of us need a life and death operation. An open-heart surgery…giving entrance to our heart and spirit, to God Himself. Unless we are willing, He’ll never force us to love Him. But if we open our heart to Him, we can have an eternal love relationship with the God of the Universe.
So, what will you decide? Will you let God have your heart? Will you receive His promise? “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26, ESV)
Jesus invites us. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20, NKJV)
Healing and Hope
We are each offered daily opportunities by God to be healed of wounds. Though the process will certainly be at times painful, it will be well worth the struggle. Yet, there are no shortcuts, only detours of denial. And unless we allow God to heal us we will remain stuck in cycles of grief, masking our pain.
Battling confusion, shame and anger, we will fight isolation and even depression.
Only God can break this discouraging cycle and bring about the resolution and healing we each so desperately need. If we allow Him, He will help us work through the pain, bringing us to a safe place of healing and hope.
As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14, ESV)
Managing Your Pain
All of us try and manage our pain. Sometimes with drugs or distractions; or by living in the future and not the present. This attempt at avoidance and denial will only further imbed the pain; causing us to look at life through a lens of hurt and hopelessness.
But Jesus came to give us life in super abundance. He promises, “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed…” (John 8:36, NIV) I remember a time when I didn’t want to live and could only imagine a future filled with unthinkable emotional pain.
Then came the Son of God! When I invited Jesus to be my Lord and Savior He broke the chains of despair. I began the lifelong process of allowing God to heal every part of me. Now, forty years later, I can say with certainty, what God promises, He delivers.
Of all the lives you and I could ever live, the “honest” life would be the best.
Dr. Dan Allender writes, “Honesty is the commitment to see reality as it is, without conscious distortion, minimization, or spiritualization. Honesty begins by admitting we are deceived, and that we would rather construct a false world then face the bright, searing light of truth.”
WOW! It sounds like living an honest life will cost us a lot. Yes…it will! But it is the only doorway into a relationship with the God who has protected truth by laying down His own life. Jesus took an honest look at our need, our sin, and knew the only cure would be giving His life so that we might live.
That honest assessment not only brought Him from death to life, it will take us there as well.
Do you struggle with anger? Most anger is disguised. Is it possible that our frustrations and irritations are our way of releasing anger? The Bible doesn’t tell us not to be angry, it says, “be angry and do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26, ESV) There are many things that can and should make us angry: injustice…abuse …bigotry…bullying…evil. But, perhaps, what troubles us the most is when we replicate the anger we experienced growing up ourselves. It embarrasses and haunts us when we hurt those we love in the same way we have been hurt.
Paul the Apostle understood this dilemma and its solution, “…there is…power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to…sin… Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-25, NLT)
God made you special…. You are a one-of-a-kind original. When God made you…He broke the mold, committed as our Creator to never duplicate anyone or anything. As original as He is, so are we. Each of us are given a piece of His heart, personality, character, and gifting. Cloning even a snowflake would go against God’s very nature as a Creator.
God has placed an incomparable desire in each of us for what is fresh and genuine; to not relive yesterday, but to experience the fullness of His unpredictable life…each and every day. He’s chosen us to partner with Him in creating what has never been done, being what we have never been, and living the life we have never lived.
May you and I live each day fully conscious of how truly loved we are.
Guilt and Shame
Do you know the difference between guilt and shame? It’s vital you do. One leads to life and deliverance; the other to death and bondage. When we do something we know is wrong, it is normal for us to feel guilty…our God-given conscience has been activated. We’re convicted to change our behavior. This is good and beneficial.
Shame, on the other hand, doesn’t try to correct behavior, it assaults our very being, making us believe the essence of who we are is in some way flawed. We are condemned by the accuser; made to feel worthless…broken…defective.
The truth is “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14, NKJV) God is my advocate. Whenever and however He wants to change me, it is for my good. I will trust Him. But I will reject the lie that He is in some way ashamed of who I am.
Despairing of Life
If you are in despair and feel like giving up… DON’T! This moment and feeling will pass. Brighter days are ahead! Each of us are at times so discouraged we feel like throwing in the towel on life. We’re brought to the edge of hopelessness.
Paul the Apostle thought he and some early disciples might not survive the difficulties they were experiencing. He wrote, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.” (2Corinthians 1:8b, NIV)
Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom, recounted how God met her saying, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” We will all come to the end of ourselves. But in that moment may we reach out for the loving hand of our Creator. He alone knows our struggle and longs to save us.
Mining For God
Are you sure of God’s heart for you? Fully persuaded that there’s nothing He wouldn’t do to come to your rescue? The Bible calls this kind of confidence in God: faith. It pleases God because when we are confident in Him, it shows we truly understand His heart. The Bible says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT)
It’s been said that: you pan for gold when you’re not sure how much is there. But you mine for gold when you hit a vein. Don’t spend your life panning for what you are not sure even exists. Reach out to your Creator and receive His love. Ask Jesus to come in to your heart and fill your life with the eternal treasures He’s prepared because He loves you so very much.
The Ark of the Covenant
In the Old Testament the children of Israel carried a chest with them called the Ark of the Covenant, or the Ark of the Testimony. It contained three items that reminded them and even us today who God is and all He has done for us.
One, the Ten Commandment tablets given to Moses upon which God wrote laws showing us how to live safe and healthy lives.
Two, Aaron’s rod that God used to perform miracles when He delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh in ancient Egypt.
And three, a jar of manna, the food God rained down from heaven when the children of Israel were in the wilderness for 40 years.
All three of these objects assure us that God will provide for our every need, even when we struggle to find our way.
Let Your Good Deeds Shine
Has God rescued you? Are you grateful? I know I am! I will never forget how he released me from the depths of despair and set me on the path that leads to life.
So what should we do if we’ve been saved? The psalmist provides some great advice, “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.” (Psalm 107:2, NLT) Every day people are sent our way who desperately need God.
Jesus said, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:15-16, NLT)