Removing the burden of regret

"Why did I disobey the Lord?" "If only I had kept my mouth shut." "If only such and such hadn't happened, my life would be so much better."

Regret. The gift that keeps on giving. Nothing so chains us to our past failures like regret.

I know too many Christians who were running well, yet at some point fell into sin. The worst thing is – they knew better. They were not ignorant of Satan's devices yet they fell. The outcome of their failure was that, in the very place where their joy once shone brightly, now a wearisome oppression exists. This oppression looks like an aspect of repentance, but it is not. It is demonic. It is a vision-stealer forged in the fires of hell.

I'm not saying that we should never have regret or that regret doesn't have a legitimate place in our contrition. Yes, we should have remorse and godly sorry for the things we have done wrong, but there is a difference between godly sorrow and demonic oppression.

If we have repented for our sins, and if we have truly grieved over them, there is a time to cast the burden of regret onto the Lord. It is time to let it go, even as the Scripture commands us to cast our care upon the Lord "for He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7 NKJV).

Let us never forget: Jesus is not just the Saviour of new converts; He remains our Saviour, committed and faithful throughout our lives.

Set Prisoners free

Still, we cannot allow regret to become a demonically manipulated weapon used against us. It will paralyze our walk with God. I'm thinking of parents who feel they failed in raising their children or church or civic leaders who have stumbled and fallen into sin. There are great people who have fallen – who have been buried spiritually under the weight of self condemnation and regret.

Christ came to set captives free, even when those captives have created a mess of themselves. Consider King David who, in reflection upon his life, wrote, "I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken" (Ps. 37:25).

Remember, this is the same man who committed the most heinous sins of adultery with Bathsheba, and then, to cover his sin, he ordered the murder of Uriah, her husband.

Yet, looking back on his season of repentance, David realized that, though disciplined and judged as he was, he was not "hurled headlong." Through it all the Lord had held firmly to "his hand" (v. 24).

This is my prayer for you, that the Lord would be a restorer of life to you and One who is your "nourisher," even in your old age. Even as you grow wiser and more humble, may the Lord remove from you the burden of regret.

In spite of your failures, God intends to use you: you will showcase Christ's grace. For those who have been forgiven much, love much.

Post published in: Faith

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