Ephesians 1:7-8 (KJV) ‘In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence’
We’ve all made mistakes and bad choices. We’ve done things we wished we could forget but somehow the memories of our past sins and temporary stupidity come back to haunt us and when that happens they turn into regrets; they become things we start to second guess:
“What if I would have…”
“Maybe I could have…”
“I know I should have…”
And when we get to that point we have become inhabitants of the land of “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” the land of regrets, and that’s a terrible place to live.
Why? Because it’s awfully hard to remember God’s grace there because you’re always second-guessing what you do and what you’ve done; you’re crippling yourself by wondering if you couldn’t have done things differently or, maybe, better.
When you’re living in the land of regrets your past mistakes take on a life of their own and grow so large that they can keep you from seeing just how big God really is.
BUT God is bigger than your past mistakes and bad choices and sinful behavior!
God’s grace, that beautiful combination of love, sympathy, compassion and mercy that was given to us through the blood of Christ, covers over anything that you might feel is a big flaw in your character or a gaping hole in your past!
Ephesians 1:7-8 (NIV)
‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.’
The grace of God is strong enough to lift off any old baggage you’ve strapped onto your back, any “woulda, coulda, shoulda” kind of regret.
• I had a really good relationship once. I wonder what I did to ruin it?
• That promotion could have been mine if I’d only went after it a little harder.
• My wife and I would still be talking if I had just kept my eyes more focused on her.
• I wish I would have told my parents how much I loved them before they died.
“Woulda, coulda, shoulda” – not only a bad place to live but some pretty heavy baggage to carry.
But God, and only God can lift that baggage off your shoulders and show you the way out of that awful place.
But you have to let him.
You have to stop searching on your own for the right path out of that place by yourself.
There is no yellow brick road, just the road to Calvary.
You go to Calvary and you ask Jesus Christ to show you the way to being restored from your regrets.
You have to let God show you the way out of the land of regrets.
Get on your knees and ask him to show you a different way to live.
If you’re living with regrets, is that really how you want to live?
Guess what – God doesn’t want you to live like that either!
If you want to you can make list of all the things that you regret doing or saying or thinking – sinful behaviors, bad choices, wrong words, inappropriate actions; write them down then take them to God and say, “God will you please help me live without these regrets; I want to live a different life than the one I’ve been living. Take away the burden of these regrets from my life and help me live a life filled with your grace!”
Then take that list and burn it! Say goodbye to those regrets. Say goodbye and keep praying that they’ll stay gone. You have more power on your knees than in any other position you can be in!
Stop wasting your time at what “woulda, coulda, shoulda” been and start living for what will be because of the grace of God.
That kind of life is based on the bigness of God.
The bigness of God will save you from the choking vines of regret that want to keep you from living a free and fulfilling life.
Illus. – If you want to get rid of tree or shrub, it’s not enough just to cut it down; it has to be removed roots and all or it will just grow back. We can only cut down or regrets, but God can uproot them!
We all have a past, but we don’t have to live there. The future is so much better, especially when it’s a future planned by a loving God who has nothing but your best in mind.
Regret will only weigh you down.
God will lift you up, help you stand, and set you on your way into this wonderful journey called life.
You may be hurting from things that you’ve done or things that you didn’t do, but you have to believe this – there is hope.
God is a God of hope, and he sent his only son, Jesus, to show us the full extent of that hope, that nothing, not even death, can hold back the love of God.
God can reach down through the clouds of despair and depression and sadness and suffering and find you no matter how deep in the land of regrets you may be living, and he can touch you and fill you with hope.
Adam knew he blew it in the Garden of Eden, the paradise God had provided for him and Eve, so he tried to hide from God because he was a victim of regret, but God came into that garden and searched for him.
“Adam, where are you?”
Adam was full of regret but God still cared.
Adam had to learn some lessons the hard way, but God was always there for him
We’ve all had to learn some lessons the hard way, but God has always loved us.
God loves you, no matter what you might be feeling about yourself and how badly you think you blew it.
God is bigger than any of your regrets.
His grace can cover over anything in your past that you might feel badly about, big or small.
His forgiveness calls you to come out of the land of “woulda, coulda, shoulda” so that you can come and live in Him, instead.
That’s where you belong and nothing should keep you from that wonderful place.
Is that easy? No way! Surrender never is, and surrender is what’s necessary:
• surrendering your regrets to God so that you can accept his grace, freely given to you by the blood of Christ;
• surrendering the way you used to live so that you can have an abundant life found in a rich relationship with Christ;
• surrendering your despair, giving it to God so that in exchange we can have the hope of redemption that comes to us through the knowledge and acceptance of Jesus Christ, our savior/redeemer.
Give it up and get out! Give up the baggage of your regrets to God and get out of the land of “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”
The Apostle Paul was just like us, full of regrets that he had to deal with and it was Paul that said God told him, (2 Corinthians 12:9) "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Let God’s power be made complete in you.
Let his grace be sufficient for you.
Let him bless you with a way out of the land of regrets – a way of forgiveness, peace, and hope; a hope that leads to real life and real freedom.
Let him because to make it happen you have to let him.
We all have regrets…and we have all been offered grace.
“Something beautiful, something good;
All my confusion he understood.
All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife,
And He made something beautiful out of my life.”