Have you ever been grieved about your past? Nothing is as lonely and depressing as feeling stuck in what’s been. It kills the ability to look forward. It stomps on the strength to dream. Not only do you feel like you can’t, you also feel that you have no right to.
Time never stops. It’s one of the relentless realities of life. Once something drifts into the past, it can never be undone. Time also cannot rewind. There is no such thing as a redo.
The underlying root of regret is the daunting reality that the mistakes cannot be erased. Even if you believe in the power of forgiveness, it is difficult to ignore the consequences of one’s failures. Those who struggle with regret feel powerless as they survey what could have been. This is why regret is such poison to the soul, it traps you with the shame of the past.
Although the past cannot be redone, in Christ, it can be rewritten. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
What the blood of Jesus does is change the narrative of what had happened. It’s like editing a picture. When you remember a snapshot of your past, you may feel disgusted by the immaturity it displays or be ashamed by the ugliness it reveals. However, as you apply the blood of Jesus, you end up cropping that moment, brightening it, and finally add a filter on top of it all. All of a sudden, it’s a beautiful portrait. It no longer conjures up regret. Instead, it stirs up gratitude. It’s transformed into something that strengthens your faith.
When His blood touches the mess of your past, it becomes a message for all to know that God is good and you are still blessed.
Joseph’s pride and naivety stirred his brothers to rob him of his life and sell him to a foreign land. But God took that pain and turned it into a promotion that saved nations.
King David’s adultery with Bathsheba led to the grievous death of multiple innocents. But God allowed this sinful union to later bear a son that became the great King Solomon, the heir to the throne and builder of God’s temple.
Peter had the audacity to deny Jesus — Peter! He was the disciple who knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the one that walked on water. In the face of a slave girl, he failed to stand up for the one he loved, his teacher and friend. But even that moment of cowardice was taken care of at the cross. The one that denied God in front of a slave girl would later have the blazing boldness to defend God in front of leaders and officials.
Despite the life-draining effect of regret, they never gave up, and they refused to hide from the Lord. Joseph kept serving in His Presence. King David sang the psalms. At the first sight of the risen Christ, Peter dove headfirst into the water and swam towards Him.
2 Corinthians 7:10 says “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Allow the power of Christ’s blood to give you permission to stop thinking about what could have been. The authority of Jesus Christ grants you permission to let go of the shame of missed opportunities. The cross releases you of the guilt of having had been a terrible friend. He enables you to move on from academic blunders. It’s okay not to punish yourself for failing as a parent or spouse.
You do as Apostle Paul did. He said, “…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:13-14).
(For Part 1 of the “Redeeming Time” series, click here.)