Regrets and Redemption

This morning I was thinking about life graphs…mapping out one’s life, reviewing the highs and lows, and examining God’s faithfulness and teaching and our growth in those times.   Then, the thought of regretful moments muscled in.  What about those moments which aren’t major highs or lows, but which continue to just low-grade torture us?  If only…  I just wish I hadn’t…  Why in the world did I…    Regret can be demoralizing and defeating.  The things we regret might be big, public, and obviously life-altering, but often the ones that are especially hard to let go of are smaller and just sad.  As I thought of this, the word, “redemption” came to mind.  Christ is our Redeemer.  He doesn’t just bring forgiveness, He also brings redemption.  He has and continues to redeem every part of us and our lives.  That’s why Paul can say:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

For His children, God causes all things to work together for good.  All things.  ALL.

Christ has redeemed my stupid dating decisions in college.  They aren’t just blots on the landscape of my life from which I need to avert my eyes.  He has redeemed my self-centered actions in raising our son…and even is continuing to redeem the bad habits I passed on to our son.  (sigh)  Today, I’m having to ask myself if I really believe this.  The answer right now is probably:  Not really.  I mostly just try to brush these regrets off, when they pop up in my mind.  “Oh, well,” I (mournfully) say to myself, “I confessed this already, and I’ve been forgiven.”  Today I am beginning to realize that I need to rethink that response.  As I mentioned, these regrets can be demoralizing and defeating, so they can be powerful weapons of the enemy in spiritual warfare.  I’m thinking that, rather than just stuff down or avoid any feelings of shame, I need to acknowledge the regret head-on and remind myself, “Christ redeemed this.”   This makes me think of Jude 9, “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil…did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’”  No need to feel shame or try to justify myself to those accusing voices or even rail against the enemy.  Just, “The Lord rebuke you!  Not only have I been forgiven and redeemed, but even this situation has been redeemed by Christ and will be used for God’s glory.  Because I love my God and have been called according to His purpose.”  Wow!  I’m feeling encouraged already…

In the next verse of the Romans passage, we’re told why God is causing ALL things to work together for good:

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.

God can use even the things that we regret to make us more like Jesus.  I don’t need to understand how.  I just need to believe that He’ll do what He says He’ll do…even though it seems too good to be true.   If I put on that belt of truth, I can be girded up, so that I’m not tripping over my regrets.  If I take up my shield of faith believing this, those fiery darts of accusation will be stopped and snuffed out, and I can live an abundant life of hope and fruitfulness and confidence.

There’s power in the name of Jesus.  Not because of the jumble of letters that make up that name, but because of the Person that name represents…our victorious Savior-Redeemer, who makes all things new.
-From Roots by a Stream, May 25, 2018: