From Regrets to Rest
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." -2 Corinthians 7:10
Do you ever find it necessary to glance back at your past to move forward into your future? Not like Lot’s wife, who turned to salt when she looked back upon something she shouldn’t have. But is the Holy Spirit pinpointing an open-door issue in your past that legitimately needs your attention so He can produce more fruit through you?
Father God desires we live in the freedom His Son died to give us, and He has need of us to accomplish His will on earth as it is in heaven.
Concerning your present and future, a good, honest, soulful reflection can be a necessary precursor to your hopeful, faithful expectation. When reflection is met with lingering regrets that have caused the most pain in our lives, it’s time to face the truth that holding onto those regrets will actually cause more pain going forward because they inhibit the fullness of God’s blessings in our lives. Regrets affect our growth, our direction and our passion—from the inside out.
The dull sadness of regrets will dim our light to the world around us and even multiply over time, as the decisions we continue to make in life are influenced by the regrets we never released at the cross. God doesn’t just forget about regrets. He forgets about the sins we repent of—big difference. Holding onto regrets is holding onto destructive idols.
Regrets don’t just go away on their own, no matter how hard we try to minimize or ignore them. God, in His never-ending grace and rich mercy, knows just how to awaken us with conviction to lovingly see, understand and address the neglected and unresolved issues in our inner being so that we can be restored to wholeness, and His authority and power can reign in our lives in practical, everyday ways.
If we will allow Him, He will put us on top of situations by His grace. John 8:32 tells us "...the truth will set you free." God’s word is firm and faithful and does not return void.
Just as we should repent of our sins, forgive others and right wrongs we have inflicted upon others, we should also right wrongs we have inflicted upon ourselves, because we are the ones who are accountable for making the decisions that opened the doors for the enemy to impose affliction upon us.
Our souls grieve—possibly even for years—until the wrongs have been made right. And as our souls grieve, The Holy Spirit grieves along with us. We must ask the Holy Spirit, “Have I left a final measure of restoration out of the equasion by not righting a wrong or releasing a regret?” The Holy Spirit will reveal the remainder of His formula to provide His whole solution. And prayer and fasting may be necessary to hear from Him.
The Holy Spirit may gently and swiftly lead us to each wrong decision that caused unnecessary pain, like a sequential series of connect the dots. And with each dot, He may have us apologize to ourselves for making each wrong decision. With each apology comes deep, inner healing and perfect rest restored to our hearts and closed doors to former afflictions. The cracks in the foundation of our hearts will be filled, and we will be restored to the solidity of His authority alone.
God’s restoration often comes in layers, especially in dealing with our emotions. He is careful to pinpoint each area as needed, as we trust Him to do so. We are so blessed to have Him on our side. It is important that we take care of ourselves, not forgetting how important we are to Him, not ever believing the enemy’s lies that we aren’t worthy of receiving God’s best, no matter how many wrong decisions we’ve made. God will always redeem us when we apply His truth in love to our souls. Remember, in Christ, there is no condemnation or shame.
When done consistently, this application of God’s love will multiply restoration, which will prove greater than the results of our former regrets. We will become more emotionally and spiritually mature, and God will open a door for us to reach out to help others in the same light. Selah.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.