2 Corinthians 7:10 (MSG)
Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.
No regrets. God wants His People to have only one regret in life. The kind that leads to repentance. Other than that, God’s Purpose for our life is joy. Overflowing, never-ending and inexpressible joy. How’s your joy jar today? If you are like every other man and woman in the world, it is being syphoned from you moment by moment at an alarming rate. The environment of the earth does not make us happy or content. The simply law of supply and demand creates a constant craving for more that never leads to satisfaction. The Source of Hope and Joy is being shoved out of every crevice. Christians are challenged on every front. The church is in distress. It’s friendship with the world has caused compromise that has rendered its silence. It is okay for every other activist, rights group or religious organization to fight to for certain freedoms for their family and their life but if a Christian decides they want something different the world deems it criminal. The persecution of those who want to live according to God’s Word is real. I am not calling for those who love God with a desire to serve Him to call their local congressman and march for their rights. I don’t think that the Lord wants us to fight for our rights in a world that has become exactly what He promised it would be. Just keep reading…things are oddly in our favor if we take a stand of faith and remain in His Love even when everything seems to be falling apart. Everything is going just as He planned, designed and ordered it to be.
I do not regret asking Jesus Christ to be my Savior and Lord. It is the best decision that I ever made. However, the closer I try to walk in His Will, His Way and according to His Word it seems as though I am getting some flack. People don’t like definitive Christians who do not necessarily believe as they do. Some people who believe in God still are offended when confident hope is expressed. I am nothing special. I am full of mistakes. I do not regret a single moment of my life even those times when I shamefully sinned against God. His Grace is sufficient for me. It is enough. My goal in life is genuine faith. There is only one way to attain that. I must die to me and let Christ live in me. To do so brings disdain from the world who like a God who loves everyone even those overtaken by sin. God loves everyone. God hates sin.
The only regret that is ever okay is sin. When we surrender sin to the Blood of Jesus, it is carried away as far as the east is from the west. Therefore regret should go with it as we live for the Lord which is to turn from sin and pursue Him. Regret means to feel sorry, repentant or upset about something. It is to bemoan or grieve the loss of it. If I continue to live in regret and forsake the joy offered by Jesus, I am no better off in the end. Joy fills the regrets in our life. God’s Purpose for us is joy no matter what is going on around us even in the closest realm. The closer and consistent our connection and commitment to Christ becomes the greater our joy will be no matter what even if the whole world turns against us and all hell breaks loose in our life. To live life without regret is true freedom. It is God’s Will for our life. How can I be so sure?
Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
God’s Spirit lives inside of me. He has a purpose in my life far greater than being a little angel on my shoulder or punch in the gut when I am about to sidestep or make a mistake. He is the Cultivator of my heart and soul producing the fruit that will lead to complete contentment and total satisfaction. He produces “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) There are those times I can hear a voice in my head when I forget who I am in Jesus Christ whisper, “Foolish Galatians!” Quite honestly – we forget that these are the qualities given to us. We do not make it or attain them. They are gifts given by the Lord through His Spirit which means my life and all its details are not up to me, but influenced by God’s Spirit inside me feeding my mind, will and emotions. This is how we can be sure that “every detail of our lives” is working together for the good. Even those details that we are not proud of, painful ones, embarrassing moments, and every single sin surrendered to Christ makes way for something new and better according to the new life given. God knows every moment of our life before we take the first breath. (Psalm 139:16) He still promises that He has a plan and purpose for good with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) We just have to seek Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13) A heart wholly and completely set on Jesus cannot harbor regret for that is reserved for places that sin prevails. Once under the Blood, sin was washed away. The heart becomes a fertile place again once sin is gone. We are pregnant with promise from that moment on.
John 16:21-24 (MSG)
When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions. This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!
Having five children, this analogy makes complete sense to me. I remember being told during my first pregnancy that I would forget the pain when I saw my son. I also remember in the midst of labor calling every single one of them liars if only in my head. I absolutely will admit that having a baby is the worst pain that I have every experienced in my life. With that said, I gave birth five times so it must have been worth it. It was! I experienced excruciated, gut-wrenching pain with each and every one of my precious ones but the moment I saw them, touched them and held them close to my heart the memory melted away just as promised. Through tears and laughter I soaked in every single detail of their tiny being. I loved them instantly with a fierce and protective passion. I would have died for them on the spot. The pain was dissolved in love. God does the same thing in us each time we give just a little more of our heart to Him. He dissolves our pain and past in His Love, Grace and Mercy giving way to overflowing and abundant joy!
The key to living without regret is taking every single detail of our life to Jesus Christ for complete and total satisfaction. It means that by faith even the pain and persecution holds purpose in our life. When we are going through hard times and heartbreak believing through it all, God is bring us all those things He promised by His Spirit. The world calls it denial. I call it confident hope. Every single time I have entered the realm of hope – I have found nothing but the deepest satisfaction just as He promised. Only those with faith in God demonstrated in true repentance without regret will find this kind of hope that opens the river to overwhelming joy!
I Peter 1:7-9 (MSG)
I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.
If you think that to live for Christ means there will be no pain, pressure or problems in your life than your expectations are unrealistic. The promise is that through those same pain, pressures and problems that there peace. It means that there is purpose in each one. The promise also tells us that after those very same pains, pressures and problems there will be unspeakable and undeniable joy. Faith makes all things possible. Faith cannot live in regret. Hope is a place for those who have faith. It is in the absence of self that we discover such vital characteristics. Death is not pleasant until it gives way to life. Jesus had one purpose in life. It caused Him great pain, pressure and problems leading to His Death. He knows how we feel and knows what we are going through but promises that it will be worth it. Though we have trials and sorrows here in the world, He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10) The Lord told us all these things in advance to promote faith and confident hope that would erase every regret and fill our life with joy. (John 15:11) Our faith allows us to share in the Glory of God and have confidence and joy no matter what happens in the natural. (Romans 5:2) The Kingdom of God is all about a life of goodness, peace and joy now. It is produced by His Spirit alive in us. (Romans 14:17) “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Every day, hour, moment and breath surrendered to the Love of God with the complete surrender of sin and the regret attached produces fertility in our life for His Spirit to create all the good things God has promised us. Sinful regret has but one swift solution – repentance. Only those unwilling to surrender their sin to accept full salvation need to regret a single moment of their life as is forfeited in that moment to death. Every wrong has a solution – it’s called repentance. Each sin nailed to the Cross makes way for new life to the dead dream and broken promises in our life. Nothing is wasted. Faith is our placeholder while we wait on the Lord and hope is our focus. To experience one regret overtaken by joy will change your life forever. To see the Goodness and Glory of God manifest in a seemingly hopeless situation will change your life forever. A mother can tell you she experienced pain for a moment, never regrets the birth of her promise. It is the same when God births one of His Promises in our life. The pain, pressure and problems were worth it when the promise finally makes it appearance. A life without regret will change the way you live giving new life to every area of life. It comes when we surrender every sin to the Cross for swift resolve. When we let the Lord fill those voids and vacancies with His Fruits that nourish our soul and feed our spirit. It really doesn’t matter how the world treats us for this is not our home. Living life without regret means having nothing, we have it all!
2 Corinthians 6:3-13 (MSG)
People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all. Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!