One problem with regret is that it hinders hope. It seems as though regret and hope are mutually exclusive terms.
But is there a way to handle our regrets that won't hinder our hope? I think so.
Several days ago, we took a look at 3 principles for handling regrets. 1. Mourn. 2. Confess. 3. Repent. Then, we looked at 3 more principles. 4. Receive. 5. Preach. 6. Listen.
Finally, here are 3 more principles.
“I will restore to you the years that the… locusts have eaten… I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh… your old men shall dream dreams… I will pour out My Spirit” (Joel 2:25, 28). Don't forget that God has a plan for your future. If you let them, regrets can steal your hopes and dreams. They can immobilize you. But don’t let that happen. An old Yiddish Proverb says, “A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams.” Don't let past failures steal your future hopes. Fulton Oursler said, “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” God is not done with you yet. Remember that Moses was at his most productive for God during the last 1/3 of his life. Every follower of Christ ought to be more fruitful as we age since we ought to know more about abiding in Christ as we live out this life in Christ. Please don’t give up. Ask God for many more years of fruit-bearing!
“All the promises of God find their yes in [Jesus]” (II Corinthians 1:20). Find some promises in God’s word that excite you about the future. When we go to God, we are wise to claim the promises this way, "Lord God, I know You gave this promise to Israel. But I also know that this promise tells me something about how You relate to Your people. It shows Your character and nature. Therefore, I am asking you to fulfill for me and for those I love what You promised to Israel. So, right now I am claiming this promise. It's up to You when and how You will fulfill this promise. But I am going to be bold enough to ask. I am asking You and I am trusting You."
Our regrets can sometimes cause us to believe that God is through with us - that God will no longer work in our behalf. But no matter what has or has not happened in our past, we can still live with expectation and hope. "At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly" (Psalm 5:3, HCSB). Another version says, "O Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee and will look up." When we claim God's promises in prayer, we wait on God with an expectation that He will fulfill His promises. We watch God work to fulfill His promises in His way and in His time. We hope. We watch God work. He waits on us to wait on Him to work in our behalf (Isaiah 30:18).
So, here are 9 practices for handling regrets. 1. Mourn. 2. Confess. 3. Repent. 4. Receive. 5. Preach. 6. Listen. 7. Dream. 8. Claim. 9. Watch.
In which of these 9 practices do you need to grow the most?
Dealing with your regrets
When regrets immobilize you
"Repaid" by Alan C. Duncan