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Hope in Regret

According to his mother, ML was a wonderful son who, at 14, turned to alcohol and drugs. In the years that followed, he made a series of troubled choices. Caught in a downward spiral, he eventually was arrested and convicted of armed robbery. To his parents’ relief, he got a suspended sentence and seemed to be doing better—until he suddenly ended his own life. He left a note saying he was sorry for all of the pain and problems he had caused. Looking back, his broken-hearted mother said, “We had forgiven him . . . he couldn’t forgive himself.”

Like this grieving mother, we may know what it means to feel helpless while watching a family member or friend lose hope. Or we may have seen the same emotions in the mirror. More than a few of us have probably discovered that it can be far easier to forgive others than to stop beating ourselves up for what we have done or not done.

Along the way, we may have heard others talk about their own struggle to let go of the past, or, better yet, to find ways of using what they have learned in their own losses as a way of helping others find their way forward. In the process, many have found that there are two kinds of regret. One ties us to the past, weighs us down, and makes it hard to live in the present. The other frees us to learn from our failures, helps shape the way forward, and gives us wings.

But knowing that we need to let go of what we can’t change is easier than doing it. If hopelessness sets in, there may be a need for professional care, a time and place to heal, and the ongoing, patient encouragement of family and friends.

In the middle of the struggle, many have found help in the merciful wisdom of the Bible. For example, the apostle Paul’s second New Testament letter to the Corinthians describes two kinds of regret (2 Corinthians 7:8-12). Paul, however, does more than describe the difference between the kinds of regret that make or break us. He also describes a kind of sorrow that gives God a chance to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves (2 Corinthians 7:10).

To understand what Paul had in mind, it’s important to know that he was writing out of his own experience. He would never forget the wrongs of his own past. Years earlier, when he was known as Saul, he had been part of a religious crowd that had stoned a man to death (Acts 7:57–8:1). Later, in a murderous rage, Paul went from house to house dragging out men and women who were known followers of Jesus (Acts 8:3; 9:1-2).

What happened next took Paul by surprise. He would never be the same again. By his own account, it was on the road to Damascus, Syria, that he met the resurrected Christ (Acts 9:3-9). Years later, Paul would write with deep affection for “Christ Jesus [who] came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV).

Even though Paul never forgot the terrible things he had said about Jesus or the harm that he had done to those he now considered family (1 Timothy 1:13), he spent the rest of his life trying to help those he had persecuted and loving the Jesus he had once hated.

But how do we explain the extent to which Paul went to help those he had once hated? Did he go on to suffer more for Christ than anyone else of his generation by redirecting the natural zeal that had once made him such an angry man?

Paul gave his readers the answer to that question. He was convinced that while the wrongs he had done had been his own, the credit for his changed life belonged to God. While acknowledging both regret and deep gratitude, Paul wrote, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10 NKJV).

For Paul, regarding himself as a murderous religious bully who lived long enough to see the forgiveness and life-changing grace of God wasn’t just about him. It was His gift to those who find themselves overwhelmed by their past, unable to let go, and desperately needing the help that Paul now offered as the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:7-8).

Father in heaven, thank You for not asking us to merely think our way into the kind of forgiveness and hope we desperately need. Please show us again today what it means to experience in our regret the grace that enables us to let go of the past and to reach forward to what You want to do in and through us.


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62 Responses to “Hope in Regret”

  1. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    ML’s mother may find a path toward helping other teenagers (and pre-teens) see hope in Christ. She may lead others out of self-destructive behaviors. It is possible for broken hearts to find the fire and zeal to press on toward a creative and life giving goal.

    “…godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” Regrets are transformed to hope.

    The working of God in our lives does give hope in this world that can knock the stuffing out of us and leave us feeling empty and alone. The message is, it seems to me, that we are not alone. Young people, like all people, want to be loved and accepted.

    As we enter Lent 2014 next week, we have another chance to dwell in the great gift Jesus has given us. Paul teaches us all (along with the Philippians) to rejoice in the Lord even in the face of life’s grittiness. Paul could have had great prestige in his career, even though he had done wicked things. Yet, he learned to rejoice in the loss of all of it – striving for success, imposing the law upon others, wielding personal and institutional power wrongly – for the “surpassing value” of knowing the Lord Jesus.

    We may derive hope and joy in sharing Paul’s conversion: “…I press on to make (resurrection) my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:1-14)

    Maru

  2. poohpity says:

    Godly sorrow, regret helps me to focus on Christ. It could be self-centered thinking well I have not done things as bad as others and compare sin but that only leaves us feeling prideful.

    I wish I could say that regret does not creep in my life but it does and the only thing that happens is my eyes are taken off Jesus. The passion and gratitude I felt when I understood what Jesus had done for me is hopefully the same passion and gratitude I feel every day knowing that His grace abounds when we have Godly regret and sorrow. That grace is what changed me and continues to change me and gives me hope.

    It is sad to hear those who have been unable to let go of the deep regret they feel or those who feel no regret at all for anything they do. For hope in regret I always remember Psalm 103:8-12 NLT.

  3. oneg2dblu says:

    I generally go to the Two Listeners, God at Eventide, before I read the ODB page every day.
    Today it fittingly touches on failures or regrets we carry and provides a way out for many who are stuck in certain repetitive defeat.
    We all have had our Damascus moment, but we do not always follow through and do the real work “that we can do’ with God’s help.
    Perhaps today will be another victory for some particular regret one has so far not been able to release.
    Carrying another victory is much light bearing than carrying another defeat.

    Pride can be seen in fostering either our bragging of a personal victory, and or constantly sharing our feelings of being personally helpless.

    Having a sense of helplessness in Christ is not IMHO a well founded worthy testimony, but it does help support our continued desires, addictions, justifications, an inability to allow the Greater One in us, to have the Victory.

    Last night when leaving the theater showing Son of God, and while walking to the parking lot with a Christian friend I was a little shaken by her statement of, “We all have our vices.”

    What about sharing that we all have our Victories over sin in Christ, and stop supporting and repeating the voices of our vices?

    If we think we can, or if we think we can’t, both are proven right for us, especially if we continue in our supported voicing of them, proving to ourselves, we are them.
    “Woe is me, should not be the victory cry of the Christian who has God’s Helper residing in them.”

    Christ died for us while we WERE sinners, not to help us to justify our nature, but to help us overcome even the world we feel so helpless to change.

    Yes, I believe we all can change even that last besetting sin we now feel the need to justify!

    Be Blessed,
    Gary

  4. tracey5tgbtg says:

    I think it is very hard to accept that we can be forgiven. It seems very prideful to say “yes, I messed up, and yes, my actions hurt someone, however, I now have peace because God has forgiven me and washed away my sin.” Yikes, that sounds arrogant!

    We know we can have hope in regret, but isn’t it better to try not to have anything to be regretful about in the first place? If I can just be a good law abiding citizen, then God won’t have much to forgive and I won’t have to live with regret.

    Right now as I’m typing I’m hearing “How Deep the Father’s Love” on the radio.

    “Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer. But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom.”

    I don’t ever want to make someone feel bad because they are consumed with regret. I have been there. I know how hard it is to believe that God could forgive “this.” But the truth is that to walk in that belief and attitude is to believe that my badness is stronger than God’s goodness and that just ain’t so.

    When Paul writes “Christ Jesus [who] came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV), I feel those words deep within me. And I feel that overwhelming relief that God knows. He knows the depth of my sin, and He loves me. It is overwhelming to hand Him my regrets and receive the hope that is in His salvation.

  5. oneg2dblu says:

    Thought I might share this little nugget… “The man who is able to look down and see that part of him capable of disappointment lying beneath him, is far more blessed than he who rejoices in the fulfillment of his desires.”
    From Beautiful Thoughts, George Mac Donald
    Be Blessed

  6. poohpity says:

    Then he told this story to some who boasted of their virtue and scorned everyone else:

    “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a proud, self-righteous Pharisee, and the other a cheating tax collector. The proud Pharisee ‘prayed’ this prayer: ‘Thank God, I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t commit adultery, I go without food twice a week, and I give to God a tenth of everything I earn.’

    “But the corrupt tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, but beat upon his chest in sorrow, exclaiming, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home forgiven! For the proud shall be humbled, but the humble shall be honored.”

    Spoken by Jesus “Son of God” Luke 18:9-14 NIV

  7. poohpity says:

    My son took me today to see “Son of God”. It was very good.

  8. Artle says:

    I like the Amplified rendition of Second Corinthians 7:10, “For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].”

    The concept worth noting is, “grief and pain God is permitted to direct”.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    When I think of “hope in regret” I am reminded of the idea that nearly every sinner who comes to Christ does so because of “regret”.

    In fact without regret and remorse there is no desire for change.

    The “hope” of forgiveness is given in the gospel, in that all are forgiven who accept Jesus to be the Son of God and accept His offer of salvation; “trust and obey, there is no other way” to use a line from an old hymn.

    The problem is do you want to change, or are you happy with who you are and how you live. In fact many, who live a good kindhearted and honorable life, may feel they have no need to change their heart and so see no need for “religion” in their lives.

    Theirs is the most difficult of all to see a need for a Savior as they feel they don’t need “saving”.

    So once again the law of opposites comes in to play, without regret there seems no need for change.

    However in most any person somewhere in their lives they find they regret something and it may eat at them and control their lives in a very negative way; they never knowing it…Jesus heals that broken heart, just by coming in and taking the pain of regret away and replacing it with hope.

    Steve

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… and good thoughts as well. I do agree with Artle and Steve about regret and hope.
    Last night at church we had Holy Communion and the fresh image of the breaking of bread shown in the Son of God movie the night before was so very fresh in my mind and it blessed me so much.
    Today in the ODB the scriptures chosen were quite clear and say that the Lords garment was woven without a seam and not torn apart.
    I wish the movie would have followed that same line as well.
    I’m not one to rip apart artistic license for it did add an element of emotion and vile contempt shown in the tearing of it though, but the tearing of the valance of the temple, (not by human hands) even more powerful, and the tearing of the bread of life by the Bread of Life, were all the greater and truer perfect images for me.
    A small point and perhaps seemingly significant to many, but when we ignore even the “little things” in God’s word, they sometimes come back as a great regret.

    Like God’s design for marriage being only, one man and one woman, but ignored by the courts of man who find God’s word as a small and insignificant point for their design.
    What a great regret awaits many who’s hope now lies in a different plan…
    My point… small points when ignored in His Word can have huge consequences, like our little bits of disobedience we cling to for our selfish desires, our besetting sin if you will, sure feels good for a season, but God’s unchanging truth, is written to us for a reason.
    Be Blessed,
    Gary

  11. oneg2dblu says:

    We can compare the two different prayers found in the word about the Pharisee and the Tax collector, as it does prove its point about misdirected pride verses the humble spirit, and which of those as being the greater.
    However, the word says a few more things about prayer for us, we do not really connect to being either of those two persons described there.

    It says… Matthew 6:5 (NIV)
    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

    Matthew 6:9,10,11,12,13 (NIV)
    This then is how you should pray:
    “Our Father in heaven
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
    on earth at it is in heaven.
    Give us today our daily bread.
    Forgive us our debts,
    as we have forgiven our debtors.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.”

    It finishes with more verses, but we generally stop there, and add our Amen.

    Perhaps I should stop here as well, but I want to share another valuable nugget of a quote:

    “It is those who are unaware of their proclivities, and never pray against them, that must be led into temptation, lest they should forever continue capable of evil.
    George Mac Donald

    We must all face our demons and call sin out for what it is! IMHO
    Be Blessed, Gary

  12. kenleeson@gmail.com says:

    My hope as a believer always brings me back to God under any circumstances and especially if a situation seems impossible. Worldview is too varied in perspective and who can decide which set of values a person should subscribe to? A view which says than any one person’s view in life can be equally right as the next or that we are each entitled to our own views can be very appealing as long as we have our individual way and we are (seemingly) in control over what happens to us. As soon as a crisis develops and we begin to look for a more acceptable solution to bring relief, we could easily be drawn to any number of alternatives which artificially solves our crisis until the next one.

    In God and by His Spirit, the certainty I have as an adherent to Jesus Christ is that God may not provide me with the relief I am looking for if it is not in His will, ( I learn not to lean on my own understanding – Prov 3:5) however, whenever I am reminded of what salvation means to me and that all that really matters is my secure relationship with the Lord, my situation is immediately relieved and I can be assured that my lack on control over the situation is in the good hands of the almighty Creator who has an eternal perspective that becomes clearer to me each time I survive a crisis.

  13. poohpity says:

    Gary, the soldiers tearing the outer robe into pieces is true to scripture from John 19:23-24 NIV the undergarment which was seamless was not torn. In the movie to keep it at the rating it was they could not show Jesus naked on the Cross so in that they used artistic license.

  14. poohpity says:

    John 19:23-24 NIV

  15. oneg2dblu says:

    Ken… you have uncovered much here:
    “Worldview is too varied in perspective and who can decide which set of values a person should subscribe to?”
    Apparently, the varied perspective of the worldview according to some courts, and the worldview system that makes those type of decisions for so many others today, especially for all those who have think they have an even more loving modern worldview and agree with them regardless of what God has given us right from the beginning.
    Praise God for those still true to the old word group of Black Pastors, who formed the CAAP that will make a stand for marriage God’s way. They do not want to change His original design of one male and one female, to now fit the world’s mold, or the new world order, but the world certainly does.
    Where two are joined together and become one as in God’s view, his perfect marriage bed, let not this “new varied perspective” or worldview, now continue to separate God’s people and God’s church, let’s just do it God’s way instead, the way we were originally designed.
    Why let the worldview now tear apart the garment of purity in marriage that God’s word says He blesses, and does not describe as being detestable to Him?
    Is that too unloving and narrow?
    Gary

  16. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… thanks for explaining where and how the license is used to protect rating in that scene and correcting my blatant error.
    The part I most enjoyed hearing on Hannity last night was the artist’s using their license to edit out the devil completely, scraping his image to the cutting room floor, where it belongs.
    That was a quote from the maker’s mouth! : )

  17. SFDBWV says:

    Isn’t it interesting that even though man is made in the likeness of God that our imaginations can take us into so many errant, but clever directions.

    As I grow older to that place where I leave this world for that next great adventure of what lay beyond this life, there is a great deal of *looking back* and in so doing find many points in my life where everything would have been different *if* only I had did this or not done that.

    Regrets or musings?

    Saturday I spent a few hours opening up the cemetery in preparation for a burial Wednesday. I remembered very well the lady who we are going to bury though she lived away from here.

    In speaking with her husband, he told me she had spent the last 13 years suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and he taking care of her.

    She had called me nearly 40 years ago and wanted to buy the cemetery lots she and her husband ultimately bought as her nephew of only 19 years had committed suicide and they needed a place to bury him.

    Every person, every family lives with tragedy and heart break somewhere in the course of their lives. It would seem no one escapes it, no one.

    Sometimes I wonder what makes living worthwhile at all and why does any of us hang on to it with such tenacity.

    If all the suffering and heartache we all live with is the direct result of that one fateful day in the Garden of Eden, then certainly it is the most *regretful* action in the story of mankind ever.

    Equally significant is the action God took at the cross when He brought “hope” into the story for the action of mankind at Eden and all the other bad choices men would make.

    When you search out all of the *stories* man has invented to explain life and all the why answers along with them, none can compare to the truth and story found there in the Bible, though all sound clever and interesting there is no hope found in any of them, only in the story from Eden to the cross.

    Very cold this morning and more snow, Matt and I have been up since 3:30 and have a long day ahead of us. Every minute, every hour I still can spend with the people I love explains to me why life is worth living, it is love that makes all the troubles worthwhile.

    Steve

  18. BruceC says:

    Yesterday we too had communion at church service. Our pastor preached on Ephesians 2 and what a great salvation has been given us. In it he quoted Timothy Keller: “We are more sinful and more flawed than we have ever thought, but more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope.”
    I had to repeat that several times in my mind to really let that sink in. When we realize that it was no small thing what God has done for us then that drives us on to serve Him in love. When we really know how alive in Christ we are as compared to how dead we were in sin before we trusted him; it deepens our relationship with Him based upon what He has done for us.

    Steve,

    Going to 11 below here tonight(likely colder than that).
    I praise and thank God for the wood stove we have and the warmth. Many are struggling and need our prayers.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  19. foreverblessed says:

    when you have grown up in a church, and always wanted to be obedient, then for some reason it is hard to believe that you are so sinful. As was the matter with me, I accepted Christ because I believed what God said, that I needed Him to live a full life, not because I thought I was so sinful.
    It made me feel so frustrated at times, it was a real trouble for me. How can I be a real christian if I did not feel that total remorse? But I tried and tried.
    The realisation that I was lost came later, when a major crisis happened in the church where I grew up in. The total lost state came anyway. Deep darkness in my soul. But I never gave up on Jesus, this state lasted more then a year, but always God gave a little light here and there, enough to hold on to Him.
    that is why I liked what BruceC said:
    “We are more sinful and more flawed than we have ever thought, but more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope.”

    both ways are so true: the deeper our lost state, but the deeper the love of God,
    As Corrie ten Boom used to say, no matter how deep life goes, Jesus goes even deeper.
    His grace is always deeper.
    It is all about grace, and also God who with the Holy Spirit puts that Grace in our hearts, the realisation of that grace.
    And if the remorse of the world is worldly, I do believe that God waits, and waits, till the real remorse enters in a heart, that God never lets go.
    That is why God is called the God of Abraham, Isac and Jacob,
    The God of Jacob, Jacob who did not see that he was doing anything wrong, in cheating, because all he did was furthering what God wanted anyway, he only gave it a swing.
    Look at how God treated Jacob, He blessed him anyway, and then sent him to Laban, where God knew he would be disciplined.
    That is what God did with me too, I was disciplined, and then I saw how lost my state was. That I could not do anything really worthwhile that would last for eternity, that I needed His life, that I needed more faith, that I needed more of the realisation: that IN Jesus I am all that I can be, and will be.
    In Christ I have all, and will be all.
    both ways
    work OUT in my life what God has already worked IN me
    Phil 2:12

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… I trust Our Hope is to be in Christ alone, as there is no other hope in any regret.
    Only in Him can we find a sweet sorrow for the past which we could not ever change, but He can take that past and forgive, restore, and use what is already done, to bring us into His Loving Arms.
    To be a Christian is nothing more than to obey Christ, and in that, there is nothing better for your past, present, and future, than to continue to obey Christ.
    Blessed will be that servant who is found doing the will of his master. He will certainly hear…”Well done my good and faithful servant.”
    I believe that God can use even our “filthy rags” to bring His word into the world and bring about His plan of Eternity and Salvation to others.
    I believe He uses His Followers, or us today, as all part of His eternal plan. Today, we can be for others the very living hands and feet and voice of how His Great Commission goes forth in the world.
    I do not think we can not be a part of his plan if we just obey His Commands, we are then doing what he made us to do and be in Him, to be Blessed!
    Gary

  21. poohpity says:

    Wow forever, what a good example of why self awareness is so very important. If we don’t have that, I think that is one of the causes of people looking down on others. As we stay close to the Lord He seems to even point out even the thoughts that show the reason He went to the Cross. It is sure humbling when one thinks about it. There is nothing hidden from God even our thinking which effects behaviors. If we think badly of someone normally we will treat them badly that is why I love the Bible so much no one hid their shortcomings, faults or failures yet people tend to do just that.

    I really do not know how anyone can have a godly sorrow unless they are self aware then turn that over to God who is in the business of changing hearts. When our hearts are changed our thinking changes then our actions change. My hope is in that process and that God is faithful to work on that in the flesh till it is completed when I go home to be with Him. If one is not aware then that probably would indicate they are to busy looking outward at everyone else.

  22. poohpity says:

    Can you imagine what we would be like if when we came together as James instructs us in James 5:16 NLT sharing our faults, shortcomings and failures so we could pray for each other for the hope of healing rather than coming together and pointing out what everyone else is doing wrong? It seems to be what would show our regret and our humanity which in turn would give us a better understanding of the abundance of mercy, grace and forgiveness that was shown to us through Jesus.

  23. poohpity says:

    Psalm 32:1-6 NLT tell us that trying to hide sin only results in depression and sorrow but when we release that to God it brightens of spirits and frees us from the past to look forward to the good we can do with a forgiven heart that has learned the lesson of grace and mercy.

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Mart I want you to know I am listening to “Discover the Word” with an open mind as you know Samson is not my favorite “hero” in the Scripture and find your pointing him out in the list of faith hero’s in Hebrews to be noticeable and worthy of a closer look as to why.

    I can recall a great many characters of the Scripture who have reason for regret, but Samson certainly had a story of failures and regrets, it would seem just like all the rest including us that his hope and our hope are found in the same God.

    We missed the snow bullet they predicted for us, but not the cold. It is 13 degrees and clearing off, that means below zero tonight, but we only received about 3 inches of snow; they had thought we may get as much as 8-12.

    Steve

  25. poohpity says:

    Samson seemed to fulfill what God had planned for him before birth, Judges 13:5 NLT, just to “begin” to free Israel from Philistine oppression. Even if his regrets came late in his life they still came. When he married his wife that was God’s will to destroy Philistines, Judges 14:4 NLT. At the end of his life he trusted God which I think is why he was listed in the great hall of faith. To me it shows that God uses anyone to accomplish his goals that should bring us all hope.

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… Okay, I’ll bite the bait…Why do you keep bounding away at a lack of confession for forgiveness of sin, as being a reason why some always look to point out the sins of others, which you deem as an unhealed condition.
    Yet, you keep on pointing!
    I trust you must feel that some here have not confessed their needs, as you seem to accuse others of not doing so. I wonder why that is?
    Does everyone have to voice there sins, their already forgiven sins to you for you to no longer accuse them of not doing so?
    Do you have anyone in particular in mind, who needs to hear your constant sermon of accusal?
    Who are those who “you see” as being without any confession and so unhealed?
    Why do you get to make that determination?
    If one empties themselves before the Lord, is that not sufficient?
    Or is it only a public confession heard by you, or voiced by you that will qualify you for a healing?
    Why would you want to place additional guilt upon others, where their confession might have already been and healing has already taken away their guilt?
    Do you need to counsel us all, counselor?
    Or just the unhealthy ones who you see to be in need of such a confession?
    “Can you imagine what we would be like if when we came together as James instructs us in James 5:16 NLT sharing our faults, shortcomings and failures so we could pray for each other for the hope of healing rather than coming together and pointing out what everyone else is doing wrong?”
    I think we are already being obedient, already praying for healing for those who ask, and for each others needs here, don’t you?
    Gary

  27. poohpity says:

    Gary, that may be how you think and do things but that is not how I roll. I was talking about the topic, the Bible and a relationship with Christ and each other. I do not have any hidden agenda. If I have something to say to someone I will usually talk to them, not over them, under them or around them or I will go to them, if possible, one on one. If you have a problem with what I write scroll past and don’t read it, it’s that simple.

  28. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All –

    The old adage, “If they give you lemons, make lemonade,” seems to apply when seeking hope in the midst of regret. Somehow, when the blessed Holy Spirit is released to work God’s will in us, we find the former hurts transformed into positive motivation and action – instead of becoming bitter and defeating.

    Mart, you wrote:

    “Along the way, we may have heard others talk about their own struggle to let go of the past, or, better yet, to find ways of using what they have learned in their own losses as a way of helping others find their way forward.”

    Jesus is the one who brings the change in my heart. It is not just the addition of sweetener to lemon juice. Rather, there is a total cleansing of thoughts, attitudes, motives and behavior. What results is a new, refreshing and life-giving drink. Like the living water offered to the woman at the well, Jesus offers us more than we can think or imagine. He is our hope.

    Maru

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Again, tying this subject with the “Discover the Word” conversation, I see where the special angelic announcement of Samson’s birth put a huge expectation on him, which alone could cause most of us to rebel and fail. Yet clearly in the death of Samson he is filled with remorse and regret which he turns into what looks like revenge; but was it revenge or the fulfillment of his purpose.

    We are instructed to live a holy life. So when does that begin? For Christian parents it begins with instruction, example and encouragement for our children as they develop and grow into adulthood or accountability.

    Once we or our children reach that point in life where we are now responsible for our actions, our/their lives are forever offered choices. Good choice, bad choice; good results, bad results.

    For every bad choice comes the regret for having made the wrong decision, for every good choice comes the satisfaction of doing the right thing.

    I don’t know anyone who has lived a life without regret, and I don’t know anyone who has lived a perfect life.

    Jesus lived a sinless life, but some may say regretfully He made enemies that had Him killed for it.

    However in retrospect, His death was His purpose.

    Could it be that every regretful thing we have ever done helped to mold us into the person God intended for us to become?

    Perhaps we should be more grateful of our mistakes as they directed us toward a similar location as did Jesus’; the cross of Calvary and completing the circle back to God.

    Steve

  30. BruceC says:

    Well said Steve. To put what you said in very simple terms: We learn by our mistakes. I’ll never forget my Mom telling me that. Unfortunately; because of our fallen nature, sometime our flesh makes us learn the same lesson over and over. Human stubbornness.

    poohpity and Gary,

    I was reading where raw honey has a healing effect on wounds. Like a natural peroxide. It actually foams up a little too, or so I am told. Anyway, it sure is better than salt on a wound; wouldn’t you agree?

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  31. poohpity says:

    Bruce I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me just come out and say what you mean. Was I putting salt on a wound telling Gary I had no thought of him in mind when I wrote what I wrote?

  32. SFDBWV says:

    When I was a boy my father and I made camping trips that were from 3 to 4 days long to what was then a very remote dam where we spent the entire time alone in nature away from any other people.

    We walked in as there were no roads and why there were no other people.

    Since we carried in everything we needed there was never any such thing as refrigeration, so what ever trout we wanted to bring home we had to make certain they didn’t spoil.

    So my dad knew a trick of taking white moss that grew liberally around then packing the fish in it even where the fish had been gutted. This natural moss has the ability to slow or curtail the decomposition process of the flesh of the fish.

    Honey will not mold, there is something in it that doesn’t allow the bacteria to grow and so why “raw” honey is a natural antibacterial.

    Bruce we got down to minus 6 last night, not bad, but very cold for March. I hope you did well.

    Steve

  33. poohpity says:

    One has to listen to really hear and one has to look to really see. When we are the center of our own world nothing else makes much sense and perception is fogged or completely clouded over. When one concentrates on only the moment eternity fades and hope is lost. God’s word becomes stories of other people not people like us.

    Paul started out as a religious zealot a Pharisee in the strictest sense of the word. By persecuting Christians he was persecuting the One true God he said he was serving. He seemed to take 3 years away to get out of the center of his world to put Jesus there. The Word finally made sense, he listened and heard, he looked and saw, he knew and now perceived. He now looked within and not outward at those he convicted of being against God. It was him that was against God this whole time. When he experienced God’s mercy and grace not only for his past but also knowing that he still lived in the flesh which meant he would still do things he wished he had not and it seemed to continue to keep him very humble.

    His hope was not found in the things he did or did not do it was in Jesus Christ and His righteousness. Paul got out of the center of his own world and put Jesus there where He belongs. That pushed him to move forward rather than staying stuck in the past and sprang up a hope eternal that God could use him but Paul had to be self aware to understand the fullness of the Cross.

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I agree you have brought that premise into this topic, and many many others as well, for a reason.
    Always pointing to it, again and again, as if others are hiding something about themselves, just so they can then point to others.
    That was my “point” which you may equally scroll past again if you desire.

    Please forgive me if you feel your comfort zone is being challenged.

    Just asking the question to get to know you better, as I think I’m seeing a recurring theme and not just a topical response.
    Gary

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    Please pass me the honey!

  36. oneg2dblu says:

    I regret to say we were all enemies of God first, we were all sin born and sin is our nature. Sin was our default position and our freewill choice.
    But one day, Thank God, regret came…

    Until that day we were not in enough self empowered regret of our sins to cause us to repent, as we all lived in some form of deception or denial.

    We were living the worldly life we set out to freely embrace, as our will guided us.

    If fact, today we are exactly where we want to be or we would change what we could, but we don’t. We would accept what we can’t change, but we don’t as we all complain about something, We would embrace all others like we would embrace ourselves, but we don’t, and we can’t, because only God can provide that embrace, and that response in us. For we lack that ability within ourselves, and if we regret that, we have a great hope that is, Christ in us, He will help us and prove us to be all that we want can be, but can’t without Him.
    Come Jesus!

  37. poohpity says:

    That is a reoccurring theme of our walk with the Lord Gary not just a one time thing. That is a reoccurring theme taught by Jesus. You do not seem to ask questions to get to know me they are most times only accusations or subjecting your opinion of who you think I am and most often you are in error. Misquoting, misunderstanding, twisting, taking a truth and adding a garyism. Often it is all about your point not what is in the Bible or an experience of a relationship with God. I regret replying to anything you write because it is like disturbing a bee’s hive.

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    Having had my hand in an apiary work for years, I know how to get to the honey without disturbing the hive.

    I have also learned there are times when it seems impossible to do so.

    Please forgive the garyism.

  39. Artle says:

    Hope is the beginning of salvation.

  40. Artle says:

    But in between hope and salvation is faith.

  41. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Facing a warm, very wet storm here in the Pacific coastal basin — 60F w/high winds.

    This morning, when regrets may emerge again from memory and conscience, I pray with Mart and all here:

    Holy and Loving God,

    “Please show us again today what it means to experience in our regret the grace that enables us to let go of the past and to reach forward to what You want to do in and through us.”

    Yours in Christ,
    Maru

  42. SFDBWV says:

    Genesis 6:6, 7 God Himself regrets. Exodus 32:14 Judges 2:18 1 Samuel 15:35 Jeremiah 42:10 all reports of God’s regrets.

    The difference being between repenting and regretting being that when one repents, one makes atonement for it, when one just regrets there is no conclusion to the matter, just regret.

    Sometimes we cannot fix regret when death takes away the person who you regretted having not done right by. Our hope then may lay only with God to forgive us and to hope perhaps the person to whom you may owe repentance to, has forgiven you as well.

    We only have today, don’t let the sun set on your anger or lack of acting upon good intentions.

    Steve

  43. poohpity says:

    Aren’t repenting and regret the same feeling of remorse or sorrow for something? For us repenting of our sins then turning to God. Not feeling that causes hearts and consciences to become hard and pretty soon whenever we do wrong we will no longer feel regret or remorse we will start justifying the behavior. There is hope in God who has the ability to break through those hard hearts and dulled consciences just like He did in Paul’s life, He can do in every person alive.

  44. poohpity says:

    What would have happened to Paul if he allowed himself to be consumed by regret? We would have never understood how amazing God’s grace is by the sharing of his story. What if the Bible would have put only snippets of the strengths and successes of people and never revealed any of their weaknesses, faults, failures, sins or denials? I think we would be so overwhelmed with regret and wonder what is the use I can never be like them, we would then be without hope. It is in sharing the reality of our struggles, sorrows, trials, defeats that rather than looking to each other we look to God.

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    BruceC… thanks for sending out such a positive note.

    Passing the honey!

    I’ll take that honey you sent out as a healing balm applied to minister.

    Of course, I’ve also learned that when one is dealing with honey, sometimes one gets stung.

    Steve… you have a very healthy grasp on the difference between regret and repentance. If one does not regret first, then why would one repent, or actually turn from their wicked way?

    The prodigal son could still be in that pig pen regretting, but he truly repented, he walked away from it and back to his father’s house.

    Feeling sorrow is to me, nothing but an emotion, like always complaining,, “Woe is me!”

    Repenting on the other hand, is an action, and brings with it Victory over the actual causal condition, or sin of just feeling Woe, guilt, sorrow, but never really following through and changing anything.

    If nothing changes, nothing changes.

    Repentance brings about a change in direction, action, current defeat, current denial, current addition, and current remorse.

    Repentance is taking a taste of that honey that was given to minister, and not rejecting it, but applying it to one’s festering wounds, where it then produces an actual healing.

    How sweet and effective it is when properly applied!

    Gary

  46. oneg2dblu says:

    I just left my surgical consult and the doctor does not feel enough conclusive evidence that I have a hernia.
    Praise God!
    Spontaneous Healing…
    He said what he does feel is a hard floor in the older repair area and thinks that a mess was used. His determination is that going in there would be troublesome and not result in my feeling any better. He is making the call that I have a groin injury with nerve damage, resulting in pain and burning, no with protrusion or swelling in all the usual places.
    So, I’m prescribed with more rest, a mild stretching routine, some weight training for the upper body, and strengthening exercises of the pubic area muscles, and some massage.
    Right now I’d be happy with an ice pack as things are talking to me after that rather intensive prodding.
    Don’t you just love it when they gently say this is going to be a little uncomfortable?
    I’ll take his words of wisdom, he said, “If it were me I would not go for any surgery.”
    If things do get worse though… that is another story, and he will take another look, with an MRI for a muscle tear and the rest.
    So, I’m resting in the Lord for now.
    Thanks to all for the prayers, as they were certainly most healing. Gary

  47. poohpity says:

    Praise God for the good report Gary. :-)

    Today being Lent I have thought for the next 40 days I will find reason everyday to praise the Lord!! So that is 2 praises so for today.

  48. BruceC says:

    Good news Gary! The Lord be praised!

    I have an appointment with the chief of surgery this morning. It was the back-up plan in case they did not call me by phone to tell me when to come for the surgery; and obviously they did not call. If the over crowding in the ER and in the hospital itself is an indication then perhaps surgery is back logged too. Anyway I will know today. I also think I may be getting a rotten head cold/sinus thing too; so I pray that passes before that day.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  49. SFDBWV says:

    Monday evening an 85 year old lady that was born and raised here died in a house fire, she had lived her life in a rural setting about 40 minuets from here down off the mountain.

    She had macular degeneration and couldn’t see all that well and a friend Blondel had been there that day helping her with some of the little chores she couldn’t handle herself.

    He had left only because he had to meet with some people at his house for just a few minutes and told her he would be right back.

    She was cooking in her kitchen when he called her to tell her he would be a little longer than planned returning she was on the phone in another part of her house and said to him, “did you hear that?” “It sounded like a car wreck” then she said to him “I’m in trouble, I’m in trouble” and the phone went dead.

    He rushed over to her house and was burned on his face and arms as he tried to enter the house, the heat too intense as it was even for the firemen who soon appeared.

    Something in her kitchen caused an explosion that sent her refrigerator out of her kitchen into her car port and atop her car. The ensuing fire killed her.

    She was frying bread on her electric stove at the time, she did not have gas and so the explosion remains a mystery for now.

    Blondel lives now with a horrible list of regrets, of what ifs, of if only and with no hope of conclusion as he will blame himself for having left her and not being there as planned.

    All of us can tell him otherwise, but I will pray that God gives him peace that surpasses understanding as well as for her family who will bury her Friday.

    Steve

  50. SFDBWV says:

    Gary I am very happy for your report and hope for you to have a long and healthy life.

    Bruce sometimes delays are for an unseen purpose, I trust God all will be in order and your gall stones and or bladder and soon no longer an issue for you.

    Looks like a more normal weather forecast for the next few days, though we still have snow/ice on the ground from October the robins will soon be returning and have a tough time until it melts off and thaws.

    Keeping the feeders full.

    Steve

  51. BruceC says:

    Steve,

    So sorry to hear about your elderly neighbor. I will pray for her family; and I will pray for Blondel too.
    How tragic.

    -8 here this AM. Never saw a winter with so many “below” days; at least that I can recall! :=)

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  52. SFDBWV says:

    Thanks Bruce, and I agree as I too have no memory of so many below zero temperatures and especially in March.

    It was 16 this morning and 23 as I write this at 10:15 am. There is a bone chilling wind that makes the sunshine only an illusion of warmth.

    We have an old lore about there always being three or more burials at a time here, Alma and Dora make two, so we all are on guard for who is next.

    Looking foreword to that hour when we are all called up and there no more burials.

    Steve

  53. poohpity says:

    Bruce, continuing to pray about your surgery in hopes of finding a different way to get rid of those stones without a need for it because of your lung problems. Doctors cutting into our bodies is a last resort but there are other ways to rid the body of debris.

    Steve, very sad to hear of the loss of your friend and the superstition of three deaths which produces fear. Praying Blondel will not carry guilt for something that was out of his hand to change. Praying for all.

    Regret is only good when it helps us learn from our mistakes, gives us empathy and draws us nearer to God to understand His grace. It is not good when it is used to beat ourselves up and stay stuck in the past.

  54. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… Prayers out to all who are facing surgery,
    facing the awaiting of results, and facing all the challenges that life brings with it. I’m sure that covers most of us.
    I daily receive emails from the New England/Gloucester Mass area and know the Robins are there in numbers and knowing some parts were having -o degrees last night.
    I was saying to myself how great is Our God that they can survive in those conditions, which seem so impossible to me.
    Only God knows our real needs and He provides for each of us.
    Praise God!

  55. BruceC says:

    Just to let all know that next Wednesday, March 12th is the day of surgery. They called just before we left for the appointment to tell us not to come in as I had already spoke with the chief surgeon in the ER last week. Anyway they will call the day before so I know the exact time. It will be in the afternoon and they said that this usually only takes about an hour and a half to do with the scope.
    Bless you all for the prayers.
    I’m sort of glad for the wait as it gives me time to get rid of this cold/sinus thingy I have.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  56. cplus0 says:

    Having lived a story almost identical to ML’s mother just two years ago,allow me to share from the heart. Dealing with the loss of a son under such circumstances is vastly different than the regrets of Paul (Saul)! And although my faith in God thru Jesus Christ has sustained me, the searing grief and guilt resulting from a loss with those particular circumstances is overwhelming! What did I do or say over the years that that added to his burdens? What should I have done or said to lighten those burdens? In my case,I did not raise our sons in a church. I did not come to Christ until I was 54 (now 67), and by then our sons were out of college and had been on their own for several years, living far away. Try factoring that into your own life given the kind of loss we are addressing and you may get just a hint of the guilt one carries. Forgiveness from God is a given when you have turned your life over to Christ. But dealing with the consequences of those things you regret do not disappear when your sins are forgiven. In real life, “church talk” to the berieved can add to, rather than take away from the quilt. At such a time, the one grieving needs to trust God’s promise to make good what satan means for evil, and to believe that God not only heard, but also answered the parent’s prayers over the years on behalf of the eternal salvation of their adult child. Even when we don’t “see” the result, God can be trusted to have honored our prayer because He tells us it is His “Will” that none should perish but all should come to know Christ as Savior. If it is His Will, and I pray according to His Will, I trust God to honor my prayer. Two important verses are Deuteronomy 29:29 and Isaiah 55:8-9. When “Christians” add to your burdens by insisting they know how God has or will respond in any given situation, remind them of those two verses. Our infinite Almighty God cannot be boxed in by the limited understanding of finite man, no matter how diligently they may think they have “interpreted” scripture. If this sounds negative, that is not my intent. The hard truth is more useful than “feel good” lies.

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    cplus0… I agree no matter how intense our study and how deep our knowledge for all things known by mankind, only God knows all things.
    I love reading the other day where God says, Yes, I answer prayer and that it was He that was waiting for you to pray that prayer. He knows it all before we even form the words.
    Today’s ODB gives us all much comfort about our prayers and how the Holy Spirit helps us, He edits in the unmentioned things of God because we lack infinite Godly wisdom and language to fully pray as we should.
    It is not that we lack words, because there is no particular value place on many words.
    We do our best and He, the Holy spirit, takes our best and makes it better, divine, unending.
    Praise God for answered prayer and Bless His Holy Spirit for giving language we do not have and placing it exactly where needs to be.
    Yet, God awaits our prayers! Praise God!

  58. oneg2dblu says:

    cplus0… I can not know your guilt. But I will share my experience with sin and the resulting guilt that I carried both unknowingly. The guilt was there even though I was living in denial and with the inability to recognize even the sin for what it was.
    It was put on the back burner for over five years, being I was walking worldly and unsaved for the first forty-seven years of my life.
    God knew my heart and exactly how it could be broken as He ushered in His Word and penetrated my stiff-necked existence hardened by worldly deceptions, and all its distractions, and He brought home His Message and his prodigal, (me) came to his senses and back to the Father’s Arms.
    ODB was a huge part of that journey and will always part of my testimony.
    My sin of choice that God used to convict me was Abortion.
    Actually the abortion of what would eventually be my only child.
    The sin was done it could not ever be reversed but the guilt was lingering, unresolved, hidden, and only through the Power of Forgiveness of Sin found in Salvation through Jesus Christ, came the release of that guilt of the sin that convicted me, where the law had no place in my life then because I did what I thought was the right thing for myself and my partner in sin, as we could justify for ourselves in that selfishly wrong decision that goes in direct opposition to God’s word, and let the world then console us and tell us it is okay.
    God had no personal place in life then, as we were walking our own way in this world and were not yet His, and always thinking we knew better.
    But, Only God Knows….
    Be Blessed, Gary

  59. twhope says:

    Well said Mart! I have felt alone and wrong at times when I admit I still have regrets. I’ve made the decision to accept God’s forgiveness, and the forgiveness of others. And God has used my failures to teach and enable me to help others and share Christ. But I still wish I would not have made the choices that pained the heart of God and deeply wounded and scared the hearts of people I love. I believe it’s okay to have this kind of regret, and the sad feelings that accompany it. I don’t let it overwhelm me. It’s there. I accept it. It’s okay. I know that one day, God will remove all regrets and dry every tear. Until then, I will regret from time to time, and I will cry a few tears. I am shedding some now as I write. It is in this regret and grief and tears that I know Jesus and love Him and see my need for Him, and give my all to Him. Could there be anything better?

  60. tracey5tgbtg says:

    amen twhope. there is nothing better.

  61. poohpity says:

    Amen! There is nothing better than feeling regret, sadness and grief over the things I do that show my need of the Savior. I am His unfinished work completed when I meet Him in paradise knowing as I stay by His side He will continue the work He started. His grace is what gives me hope, by His stripes I am healed.

  62. swwagner says:

    I too struggle with letting things go in my past…but as more of my family goes before me to be with the Lord in eternity, I am more and more aware of the “grace that is greater than sin”.

    Thinking of those loved ones waiting for me and the Love Sacrifice of Christ that makes it all possible, all I can do is rejoice!!!

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