Sin can play havoc with our lives; it can bring terrible consequences.
I’m so grateful our God is merciful, patient, and longsuffering, and most of the time withholds the consequences our sins deserve. I believe when we get to heaven we’ll marvel at all we deserved that God kept from us. This doesn’t mean we should take sin lightly, because God is not mocked and sometimes our disobedience can bring devastating repercussions.
Maybe you have really messed up. Derailed your life. But does this mean you have derailed God’s purpose for you? Is God finished with you? No! In his infinite sovereignty, he still has an incredible plan for your life. He knew every sin we would ever commit, before and after we believed in Jesus. He knew every failure and wrong decision we’d ever make ages before he created the universe. And because he loves us so much, he causes even our failures to work together for his good purpose in our lives.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)
ALL things work together for good, including our sins.
This does not mean we should sin. And God is in no way responsible when we do, for he is not the author of sin. But somehow even our worst sins and mistakes fall under the umbrella of his sovereign plan for our lives.
God is so awesome he can even use our sins to accomplish his purposes.
When Jacob deceived his father and swindled his big brother Esau, God used that sin to fulfill his prophecy that the older would serve the younger. When Joseph unwisely boasted of his dreams to his brothers, God used Joseph’s foolishness and his brothers’ hatred to get Joseph to Egypt, where God exalted him to the second highest position in the land, where he used his wisdom to spare thousands from starving, including his scheming brothers.
David committed adultery with Bathsheba, sought to hide his sin and eventually engineered the death of her husband. David suffered many devastating consequences for these sins. Yet God still had a plan for his life and gave him and Bathsheba their son Solomon, the author of Proverbs and one of Israel’s greatest kings. Not even the worst sins can stymie God’s ultimate purposes, and his plans for our lives.
And remember, Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for every single one of our sins.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. RO 8:38-39
Because of Jesus’ incredible sacrifice, nothing we do can separate us from God’s love.
So what should you do with your regrets?
First of all, remind yourself that God does not condemn you
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. RO 8:1.
NO condemnation – none. God does not condemn you and never will. Jesus took our condemnation and paid the penalty so we would not have to. You may have to fight and pray to believe this, for condemning thoughts often return to try to discourage us from moving forward.
Second, cast your regrets and discouragement upon the Lord
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. PS 68:19 (NASB)
Our heavenly Father wants to bear our burdens of regret. He doesn’t want us carrying them around. Remember, he has cast our sins as far as east from west. Jesus bore those burdens on the cross.
Third, remind yourself that God still has a purpose and plans for you
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. PS 138:8
Maybe your sins have brought heavy consequences into your life. But you have no idea what wonderful plans the Lord still has for you. He may use your experiences to comfort others who are suffering. He may use you to give hope to others who have made similar mistakes to you. God still had plans for David after his failures. He still has plans for you.
The Lord has a future for you. And he will fulfill his purpose for your life.