The Agony of Regret
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” ~ Hebrews 4:15
Regret is a way station on the road to wisdom.
Forgiveness heals your soul.
Looking at my life through hindsight’s perspective in that moment, all I could see was the devastation and pain I had caused…again! I could finally see that what I had thought was the right thing to do at the time was selfish and sinful, no matter how much I was able to rationalize and justify it. Typical of hard-headed me, I had forged ahead and done what I wanted to do, in spite of wise advice to the contrary, and it had led me down a dark road. What was worse, my selfishness had deeply and irrevocably hurt those I loved most dearly. The weight of that realization, along with my guilt and remorse, was crushing and unbearable. How could they ever forgive me? How could I forgive myself? As a tsunami of regret engulfed my heart and soul, I lay prostrate on the floor, sobbing into the carpet, pouring out my heart to God. Although I knew the Bible said He would always forgive, I needed to accept his forgiveness if it were to make a difference in my life. I could hardly even bear to pray I felt so ashamed and unworthy.
Gently, in a still small voice, Jesus spoke to me of his loving mercy and grace, offering His comfort and reminding me of my salvation. You see, even when we condemn ourselves, he never will. He will correct, even discipline, but he never condemns us. I cried out, “But, Lord, you lived a perfect, sin-free life. How could you possibly relate to this chasm of regret?”
Instantly, I heard His gentle rebuke, “When I went to the cross, I experienced every sin, pain, sickness, addiction – and every regret – that mankind has ever experienced. At the cross I knew sin in the most intimate, personal way, along with all of its consequences. Although I was completely pure, I was defiled unto death and hell. I even suffered the ultimate agony of having my Father turn away from me because His perfection couldn’t abide the presence of the sin that covered me. I know the pain of sin and regret so you don’t have to bear it. Your sins, and the sins of all mankind, became mine because I love you. Because of my sacrifice, you are forgiven and set free.”
Time spent wallowing in regret is wasted because it revives and wrestles with something Jesus suffered and died to defeat for you. The good news is that he was completely blameless, so he overcame death and the punishment of hell for all time. If you don’t accept his forgiveness, it is like receiving a priceless gift and never opening it. Whatever regret you are holding onto today, let it go and let him flood you with the joy of his forgiveness and overwhelming love. Let him enfold you in his peace that surpasses all understanding so you can step into the victorious life he made possible for you. He has great and mighty things in store for you!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, how can I ever thank you for your courageous sacrifice that heals me and sets me free? Thank you for redeeming me from all of the mistakes I have made and for the assurance of my salvation. Thank you for showing me that you not only forgive, but you wipe my slate clean when I accept your salvation as my own personal blessing. What a privilege to come before the very throne of God and be found perfect, spotless and worthy. I cannot imagine the pain and horror you experienced on my behalf or the depth of love that led you to the Cross, but with deepest gratitude I give my life back to you right now. Use me, Lord, for your will and your plan. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, live in me and let your will be done in my life for your glory, honor and service. I love you, praise you, and thank you with all of my heart, in your precious name, amen.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” ~ Romans 8:1-4