2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NLT)
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.
You can’t judge a book by its cover. Just because a person is living the good life now doesn’t mean this has always been the case. Those who we encounter all have a story written by the Hand of God. (Psalm 139:16) Even the unscrupulous sinner has a happy ending if they repent choosing to accept the Plan of God for their life. (Jeremiah 29:11) Our wanderings are not terminal as long as there is breath in our body. The Lord promises to make good out of every detail of our life. (Romans 8:28) He promises to perfect all that does concern me. (Psalm 138:8) I am a Work of His Hand. The defect is not in my creation but my inability to make a proper choice. Adam and Eve were created to be shameless. (Genesis 2:25) However, when presented the option between life and death or blessing and cursing – they chose a lie over the truth allowing shame to reside in their heart and mind. (Genesis 3:6-7) As evidenced in His Word, sin created an immediate disconnect between God and His Precious People. Driven off course by the lie of the enemy, they began to wander. God created us to live in His Comfort and Care, it was by choice that human beings decided to chart their own course attempting to rewrite the story of their life. Sorrow is born of sin. Sorrow is emotional distress caused by loss or disappointment. Although our mind may not comprehend the terrible loss that sin imposed on our life, the Eternity in our heart is knows full well what we have lost as it struggles to find satisfaction and contentment outside of God’s Direction. As if constructing a thousand piece puzzle without a picture, people take all the pieces of their life provided by the Lord and attempt to make it all work together. Grasping for things that do not even belong in the Masterpiece the Lord created hoping to make them fit. (Ephesians 2:10) God never intended for His Children to live in regret even when sin overtook our heart. He does not want you to wallow in your shame but flourish through repentance. You are to live a shameless life! It requires getting rid of the primary cause of our shame to live in righteousness.
Proverbs 10:22 (NLT)
The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich and he adds no sorrow with it.
Regret is the feeling of sorrow manifesting in our life. We feel remorse for our sin against the Lord when we ask Him to be our Lord and Savior. But what we do with this sorrow is of vital importance to our success as a Follower of Jesus Christ. Regret is to feel a sense of loss that leads to repentance and turning from evil to do good. We are led to repentance by the Kindness of God demonstrated by His Love, Mercy and Grace for humanity despite inability to remain righteous. Repentance removes regret as we are fully restored in the Righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. But wait? Regret has a friend called “what if” that attempts to tie us to the past and create an emotional bond to it that keeps us from stepping into the full restoration and renewal of God for our life. Regret is strongly supporting by guilt and shame as fear tries to keep us tied to the weight and burden of our sin rather than releasing it to Jesus Christ beneath the cleansing flood of His Precious Blood. In that moment if we choose to let go of the sin that once held us captive, it will be separated from us as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) There is no record of such acts any longer. (Colossians 2:4) Regret takes them off the Cross and pins it back on you. Although there will be many sorrows and trials on the earth, Jesus Christ has overcome them all. (John 16:32-33) This means that no matter what you have done or not done, your sins are forgiven. God knows you. He created you. Nothing you do surprises God because He is working out every detail for good. Repentance allows us to experience God’s Goodness, Kindness, Mercy and Grace as He pours out His Love AND we accept it. Repentance lines us up for the Blessings of God and He adds no sorrow with it! Let go of the regret that links you to your past. Repent and turn back to the Lord. He has good things in store for you. He has a good plan with a future and a hope for those who choose to walk with Him each day. Let go of the weight that is keeping you from God’s Best for it is called regret. Nothing left behind is wasted not a single moment. God included it all for your benefit in the future so stop looking for it in the past.
Psalm 13:1-2 (NLT)
O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
How long? Good question, I ask it from time to time. October 24, 2013 will mark the two-year mark of our son’s battle against cancer. At the one-year mark, I felt compelled to get a tattoo of all things. If I look at the inscription on my wrist, it reads “faith” but if you look at the same inscription from your perspective it reads “hope”. It is a constant reminder of what this life is all about cultivating faith to produce hope not only for me but for everyone that I encounter. When people ask about the tattoo on my wrist, it is an open opportunity to discuss the Goodness of God that prevails in our life. However, sometimes it is painful. With the fourth diagnosis of cancer, I wanted to scrub the skin off my arm and get rid of the inscription. I was tired. I was disappointed. I was angry. In the shower, I scrubbed my arm red with no effect. But as I continued to press into the Lord, I embraced the word “faith” once again and “hope” has kept me safely anchored to Jesus Christ. How long you may be asking yourself and the Lord today? I have an answer. “Until my grace is sufficient for you…” to walk away from regret, what if, and bondage to the past to embrace the future no matter what may come. “Until my grace is sufficient” so you will seek first the Kingdom of God. “Until my grace is sufficient” so you will have confident hope that He will do exactly as He said. “Until my grace is sufficient” for you to walk in the everlasting rather than living for today. ”Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) As long as you believe that there is anything that is more powerful than the Love and Grace that God has designated for you – the enemy will have the upper hand in our life. It is by faith in His Grace that we are saved. There is nothing you can do to obtain it so take yourself off the hook. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) If only we would choose to believe that “His Grace is sufficient for me” that we would live shamelessly for Jesus Christ!
Isaiah 53:3-6 (NLT)
He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
Nothing that we can do surprises the Lord, He bore the weight of every wandering on the Cross. It is our inability to believe in His Love, Mercy and Grace according to what we have done that keeps us from the overflow. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8) I have always loved the fact that even in my hurt and disappointment God keeps my tears to turn all my sorrow into joy. Sorrow is to produce godly repentance. He does not keep track of my sorrows (or wanderings) to punish me or use them against me, but rather He keeps track of them because His Grace is sufficient due to the Work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is a “paid in full” stamp on every time I fall, wander and stray from the Goodness of God. Sorrow that causes us to receive the Love of God is better than laughter for it is in our sadness associated with the loss of our relationship with the Lord that glories in its restoration and renewal through Grace. (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4) The faith and hope found on our journey over the past two years has solidified our union to God through Jesus Christ. We have experienced His Goodness over and over again as He makes good on His Promises. It has required a longer than usual wait time in some cases but well worth it in the end.
James 4:8-10 (NLT)
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
The only sorrow that you should ever have as a believer is over the sin that separates us from God. If we strive in our life to stay away from sin and remain close to the Lord, our sorrow will be turned into joy. Shame is a painful emotion associated with our disgrace. However, shame is dissolved when we accept that “His Grace is sufficient for me!” There is no room for regret in a Child of God – this world has nothing for you. God is making every detail of your life work together for good. He is perfecting all that concerns you so what do could you possibly be missing out on that is worth sacrificing God’s Very Best? Shame is a partner of sin. Live in the overflow of God’s Grace in right standing with God and it will be washed away. God isn’t looking for religious people who do everything right for the world to see. He is after a heartfelt relationship with each one of us that exchanges a life for a life as you live as one without shame. (Luke 18:10-14) His Grace covers you! It protects you as one partner protects another in successful unions. Choosing to come close to God is a shameless act of boldness allowed through His Grace. By doing so, He will come close to you! He lives in you for Pete’s Sake! He is working for you not against you. A genuine relationship with Jesus Christ allows us to live shamelessly!
I John 2:27-29 (NLT)
But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.
The Lord has invited you to come boldly before Him shamelessly expecting all that He promised by faith and confident hope that His Grace is sufficient. Are you there yet? Does regret tug at your heart? Does shame keep you from His Presence? The Holy Spirit is consummation of God’s Love and desire for intimacy with you. He will not come to a comprised relationship choosing to be one with His People who are repentant and earnest in their pursuit of the Heart of God. Is that you? Stir up the passionate love inside of you once again. Adam and Even became one flesh in their union. God desires to be one with you and me. It is through grace that we are made righteous enabling us to accept His Amazing Offer of a brand new life. What choice will you make today? It is totally up to you! Will you choose to live shamelessly in Love of Jesus Christ? His Grace is all you need to walk right up to God, come boldly into His Presence and live with Him forever – shamelessly! There is no regret in repentance just perfect union with God!
Revelation 21:3-5 (NLT)
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”