So many people carry with them the pain of their past...things they wish they had done differently...things they regret saying...pain they caused others, or things that were inflicted on them. God did not intend for us to carry around such heavy burdens and baggage. It's the enemy of our souls that ties us down with such things in an effort keep us from living our lives in the freedom Christ offers and it hinders us from being all Christ calls us to be.
God gives us His Word to help us...to set us free and to help remove the guilt and regret that can weigh us down..
"...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” Ephesians 5:25-26
1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”
Romans 8:1: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”
These verses show us that when we ask, Christ forgives us...He cleanses us, He makes us white as snow...we become new creatures.
Think of the people in the Bible who could have been filled with such regret over their actions that they ceased to be effective for God and His Kingdom...Moses, who killed a man; King David who took another man's wife and then had him killed; The Apostle Paul who persecuted and killed Christians before His conversion; Peter who denied Christ three times... each of these people could have buried themselves in regret, guilt and shame if they did not accept the forgiveness and grace that God offered them.
Here are a couple of more scriptures that are important to letting go of regret...
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Phil 3: 12-13.
"Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God". - Luke 9:62 AMP
We all know that we can't go back and change the past. There are some things in life, that no matter how much we wish we could change them, we can't. In some situations, there is nothing we can do, but pray to accept the things we cannot change and ask God for His help to let go and move forward. This is where we must make a choice...we can choose to accept the things that we can't change and then choose to let God's grace cover the situation and let Him work it together for good in our lives...or we choose to hold on to the pain...choose to listen to our own voice instead of the Lord's... choose to not accept the freedom and gifts that Christ offers to set us free.
Again, looking at examples in the Bible...Paul and Peter went on to live the rest of their lives serving Christ and spreading the good news of the gospel. The well known story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers and later was made to be second in command to Pharaoh, is an example of God's redemption of circumstances.
Romans 8:28 says, " And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose".