“See how God used what happened for your good and His glory.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 29, 2023
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
I spent a lot of my adult life carrying around a load of regret. Then, when something happened that triggered a painful past memory, I would often spin in the place of “What if?”
Maybe you can relate.
Sadly, just about everyone I know struggles with some regret. Regret that they didn’t do this, that they did do that—and they feel the choices they made have ruined—or permanently subtracted from—their lives.
The good news is that regret loses its power when we embrace a few truths and live by them:
First, if you are living in regret, it means you are living in the past. And, when you are living in the past, you can’t move forward in hope and victory. In Philippians 3:14 Paul said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” It’s impossible to press on toward anything when you’re consumed with what’s behind you.
To fulfill God’s calling and plan for your life, you need to stop looking back because you’re not going that way. What matters is what God is doing now. He is the Great I Am, not the Great I Was (Exodus 3:14). What happened was not a surprise to Him. He wasn’t shocked, and your Promised Land does not depend on what happened back there.
Next, to stop looking back in regret requires faith . . . faith that God will take anything that happened in the past and He can use it for your good and His glory. Read that again.
God can take anything that happened in the past and He can use it for your good and His glory.
Not for your punishment. Not for your future ruin. Not for a life that is lesser than, but for your good and His glory! What awesome news! Embrace the faith that God is working it all together for good (Romans 8:28).
Also, to stop looking back in regret means being obedient. God is always working (John 5:17); He is always doing something new. If you keep holding onto—and looking at—your past mistakes or the failures of someone who hurt you, it’s disobedient. There is a point at which it’s disobedient to continue to hold onto that which is done and over. It’s also giving the devil a foothold.
You see, the Adversary wants you to keep looking back so he can steal, kill, and destroy God’s full plans and destiny for your life (John 10:10). The Lord is holding out gifts for you. With Christ, the best is always yet to come. If you don’t let go of what was, you cannot fully embrace what is. The devil wants to keep dragging you back to the past so you can’t move forward into the future in hope and with clarity. Stand your ground, knowing the Lord is at work to bring good from evil.
Finally, regret loses its grip when we can reframe what happened. When we can see our experiences through fresh eyes, then we can find diamonds in the dirt—and there are always diamonds in the dirt. We only need look for them. Finding diamonds means that you not only believe God is working for good, but that you look for that good. It means you see how God used what happened for your good and His glory.
Be encouraged! He is the Redeemer of all things!
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you” (Joel 2:25).
Lord, help me to live in faith, not in unbelief. I know that no matter what happened in the past, that you are working it all for good. Help me to trust that, not just say I believe it. In you, there is always redemption for all things. Amen
Read the following questions and take time to thoughtfully answer each one to find your diamonds in the dirt.
How has my experience changed me for good and made me more of who God created me to be? How has what happened given me a new vision for the future? How has it made me wiser? How did it purify my heart? Could I have received the qualities I now possess, (such as greater wisdom) without experiencing my trouble? How did it help me love God more? How did it make me more caring, hopeful, disciplined, confident, loving, kind, or forgiving? How can I cooperate with God to use what happened in my life to glorify Him?
Mid-Cities Worship: Beauty for Ashes
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