This past weekend, Pastor Dave brought a message about faith, and how faith in Jesus—and in His ability to love and forgive—is the key to overcoming regret. In his message, Dave reminded us that “because Jesus rose from the dead, because He overcame death, we can all start over and live a life beyond regret.” What a message of hope!
On the surface, it’s easy for us to own up to some of our regrets: “I wish I hadn’t bought that, I should have texted you back, I shouldn’t have said that.” But if we go below the surface, there are regrets we don’t want to acknowledge.
Inside a lot of us, there are actions (and inactions) we can’t seem to face. We keep them buried deep and do everything we can to forget they exist. These regrets have changed and shaped our lives, and we don’t believe Jesus can ever forgive us for what we did or didn’t do. However, Pastor Dave reminded us this past weekend that Jesus is love, and no matter what we’ve done, Christian or non-Christian, we are never beyond His forgiveness and His love.
Even so, we might still have doubts: “You don’t understand. I cheated on my husband. I relapsed again. I gambled our savings away. I should have stood up instead of keeping quiet. I should have done something before it was too late. I could have stopped that from happening.” Our deepest regrets slowly pick away at us, leaving us feeling unworthy and unlovable.
In his message, Pastor Dave used the example of Peter: He was one of Jesus’ best friends, and on the night of Jesus’ death, when He needed companionship the most, Peter denied three times that he even knew Jesus. Thankfully, Peter’s story doesn’t end there. After His resurrection, Jesus sought out Peter, assured him, forgave him, and then gave him the critically important task of spreading the news of hope, love, and forgiveness.
Jesus forgave Peter, and He’s ready to forgive us, too. We may continue to say, “But you don’t get it! I...” But Jesus cuts all of us off and asks, “Do you love me? Because I still love you, and my love has no limit. Whatever you’ve done, whatever you regret, we can work through it. I still have a plan for you. You are never too far gone.”
What is it for you today? What is the regret you can’t seem to let go? What did you do, or didn’t do, that is just gnawing away at you? Today, make some quiet time to come to King Jesus in prayer and unburden your heart before Him. Let this be it. Trust Jesus with your regrets because the light of His love will melt them away. Feel His forgiveness, then forgive yourself, too. Put your weight at the feet of the cross and leave it there.
We all make mistakes—mistakes we deeply regret—but thankfully, Jesus is greater than all of our mistakes combined. He is love and mercy and grace, and He is full of compassion and forgiveness. Peter thought his story was through, but Jesus hadn’t even started with him yet. We may think our story is through, that we’ve gone too far off course, but know that Jesus is ready to forgive, and that He’s nowhere near finished with us, either!