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Regret Redeemed
(October 13, 2004)

      By Fern Horst

"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13b)

One of my friends went through a time of regret regarding a letter she wrote, although she wrote it with the best of intentions. But the condemnation she felt went far beyond the "crime" she committed by writing it. Satan seemed to use her vulnerability of regret to make her feel hopeless about herself and her relationship with the Lord.

Such condemnation isn't from God, and she realized that. As she was telling me about her struggle, I realized how many times I've also felt Satan's condemnation as he used a mistake of mine to make me feel like the most horrible human being on earth. He loves to render us ineffective by paralyzing us with regret, and making us think that we must live with condemnation as a punishment for our faults. That isn't the message that God gives us.

When God convicts, He offers hope. He helps us to see specifically what we did wrong and shows us how we can correct it. He leads us through His Holy Spirit to ask Him for forgiveness and that of those we've wronged. After doing all He wants us to do in regards to our wrongdoing, there is nothing more to do but to accept His gracious forgiveness and mercy and to move forward. He tells us through the prophet Isaiah to "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:18-19).

God has a purpose for our lives, and Satan will use anything possible to prevent us from accomplishing it, even genuine regret for our sins. When we can do as Paul did, accepting Christ's forgiveness and putting the past behind us, we can then press on towards the goal that God has called us to in Christ Jesus.

The amazing mercy of our Lord not only allows us to put our mistakes behind us, but also brings good out of them. As I've seen this take place in my own life, "Redeemer" as a name for Christ has taken on a whole new meaning. Not only does God forgive our sins, He redeems them for good to His honor and glory. What an amazing God we serve!

© 2004 Purposeful Singleness
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