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, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Regrets and disappointments come in many sizes and varieties. I have had my share of them in my lifetime. Some are easier to let go than others, however. Is it wrong for a Christian to live with regrets and disappointments? In my own life, “living” with them is harder for me, spiritually speaking, than it is to simply let them go.
Living with regrets, in my opinion, produces a negativity in my life. If I dwell on these regrets too long, it affects me and those around me. It especially affects how I deal with day-to-day circumstances. I believe the Lord can take anything negative and turn it into something that He can use for good. A good example is the devotional on impossibilities – about Jochebed’s dilemma of having to give up Moses as a baby and how the Lord used this very difficult situation for His good! Just as the Lord used an impossible situation, He can use my regrets and disappointments to teach me something good
Like a cancer, nurturing these regrets and disappointments in our heart will cause us to grow resentful. I’ve been there and I don’t like the person I become when I allow this to happen! Yes, you read right: I allow these things to happen! There is not one thing I can do to change what has happened – it’s a done deal. However, there is something I can do today and that is to leave these life changers at the feet of the Lord and allow Him to work in my life.
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. II Timothy 1:12
The Lord can take these regrets and use them as lessons. The scriptures are filled with parables which the Lord used to teach His disciples. Oh that I would allow Him to do the same to me! My circumstances are not parables – there are real people involved and the situations are in the here and now. The same God that helped Paul to write these blessed words is the One who will help me. Some of my regrets are irreversible. But there is nothing I can do about that at this point. However, I can learn now so that it doesn’t happen again!
Each time I can be taught as I sit at the Master’s feet, I grow more like the image of the precious Lord! He desires to impart teaching in me – teaching that I will learn and apply to my life – not just read/hear and do nothing with!
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: Psalms 138:8a
We need to let go of things that keep us focused on our walk with the Lord. The devil would love nothing more than to keep us loaded with burdens of care and worry. When we allow this, we become useless to the Master’s cause! Don’t you see that? Day-to-day drama in our lives cause us to look away. Regrets and disappointments will NOT change unless WE do something about it. Can we change the past? No! But we DO have the ability to affect the future. Since the path we’ve been walking has produced heartache and disappointment, why continue down it? Rather, walk His new path – learn from Him – be refreshed by Him – and let go of those burdens that weighed us down! Amen?
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Let’s allow the Lord to have a hand in each area of our lives – including those disappointments and regrets. He can heal them – He can teach us how to move forward – and He can take our lives and use them for His ultimate glory! I have “preached to myself” today. Things that have happened in my life have been such a regret and I have found myself, as I get older, wishing I had done things differently. Dwelling on such thoughts are not spiritually productive – in fact, quite the opposite! Lord forgive my lack of trust in Thy faithfulness. You are the Author and Finisher of my faith and I leave those things behind and press forward toward the mark!