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Regrets Are Providential

Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 3:13-14

Another reality that will help you live without regrets is this: regrets are providential. They fall under the sovereign will of God. How can you be at peace with past mistakes you cannot change? By understanding that God is in control over every part of your life, including your wrong choices.

Now, I don’t really understand how that works. But God is so powerful that He not only uses good things but He also uses bad things in our life to accomplish His plan for us. Romans 8:28 says, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” You know what “all things” includes? It includes that act of rebellion. It includes that act of immorality. It includes that foolish decision. It includes that missed opportunity. The Bible says God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

One of the best illustrations of that in the Bible is Moses. When Moses was born, God planned for him to free Israel from their bondage in Egypt. But Moses became impatient, so he decided to take matters in his own hands. When Moses saw an Egyptian soldier mistreating an Israelite, he killed the Egyptian soldier. He thought the Israelites would say, “The rebellion has begun; let’s get free of Pharaoh!” But it didn’t happen that way. Instead, Moses spent the next forty years of his life in exile. I wonder what those years must have been like for Moses. How many times did he relive that one bad mistake? If only he had had better control of his temper, he would have been in the palace instead of in the desert. But God used those forty years in the wilderness to teach Moses lessons he would not have learned anywhere else. And when Moses was eighty, God appeared to him and said, “Now you are ready to lead My people out of Egypt.” God used Moses’s mistake for Moses’s good and for His glory. And God can do the same thing for you.

What is the biggest mistake of your life? It can never be erased, but it can be forgiven. And most importantly, that mistake can be used for your good and for God’s glory. Decide right now to use your regrets to prepare you for the future God has planned for you. The apostle Paul said it this way: “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on” (Philippians 3:13-14). This is good advice for those who want to live above the could-haves, would-haves, and should-haves.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living above the Could-Haves, Would-Haves, Should-Haves” ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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