Note: This is a manuscript of a message I will soon deliver, God willing. I pray you find encouragement.

Q: Am I the only one with memories of something I did or didn’t do that I regret? Things I’d like a “do over” or change? Anyone? Regrets can linger & trouble us deeply. If we don’t deal with them Biblically they destroy us. Personally, I think there are MANY who have “skeletons in their closet” (Regrets) and that is the source of emotional problems. Let me explain…

I knew a man who lived for 10+ years lived on “The Dark Side.” He did things that, later in life, ate him up emotionally, psychologically, & spiritually. He became extremely bitter and depressed. What could cause such you wonder? Among other things, he had several affairs, performed illegal abortions, & the worst… when a son was born with a deformity the Doctor asked if he wanted to try and save him or let him die. His response? “Let it die…” (A direct quote)

Interestingly, he was well versed in Scripture and very intelligent. He was a former preacher… who returned to ministry later in life. But got out again due to continuing alcoholism. His last years were spent sitting at a kitchen table, mulling over his failures (Regrets), self-medicating, & waiting to die.

He was my dad…

I’m delivering this message today because it is the safest time for me. I don’t know you or anything about you. But this much I DO know, everyone who lives long enough has regrets. Then there is a good chance someone you know (Family member?) whose life difficulties can be tied to their regrets. We all have regrets to varying degrees… you, me, everyone. The question is how to address them…

There is thing called “Art Ghost Lines.” When a person is pencil drawing, if they press too hard and have to erase… lines are left that cannot be erased and the drawing is ruined. We are more familiar with lines left on a sheet of paper UNDER one we have written on. Those are “ghost lines.”

Our lives are filled with ghost lines. Most of the time we don’t notice them, but at times we do. Our memory opens unexpectedly and event(s) are recalled. These memories, though redeemed through Christ, expose our “Ghost Lines.” The closer we look, the more lines we see…

Like what? Rejection from friends. Losses we’ve experienced. Sins committed. People we’ve hurt and people who have hurt us. Unfulfilled dreams. Wrong paths we’ve taken. Regrets…

“Ok preacher, I didn’t come to get depressed. I came to be encouraged!” Me too. So for the rest of our time let’s move in that direction. What I hope to do is suggest to you what I do with my regrets. How I address them. This is as much a reminder for me today as encouragement for you… (For Christians).

First, I meditate on the cross and what Jesus accomplished. I have go to verses for God’s Truth to overrule my heart. If I neglect God’s Truth, my heart will get sicker… (Listen to Jn 10:10…)

The thief comes… to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 14 I know my own & my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.

In salvation God changes our spiritual DNA. We are adopted into His family. Take God at His word. Read that passage often… slowly… pushing God’s truth deep into your heart. THE best remedy is knowing Jesus… God Himself has loved, forgiven, and accepted you as His child. Nothing can change that. There is NO sin God cannot/won’t forgive except unbelief (AKA, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit). Supporting texts…

1 Jn 3:19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.

Ro 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Ro 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Q: If these things are true (And they are) do they have an impact on the memory of past failures and regrets? Is murder, adultery, theft, lying, fornication, drunkenness or anything else you name too much for the blood of Jesus to overcome FOR YOU? (PAUSE)

Next, I meditate on the ONGOING work of God BECAUSE of what Jesus’ resurrection accomplished. Again, choose to believe God who is greater than our heart… what we feel… what we remember… our regrets. AGAIN, the deeper we push God’s truth into our heart the Holy Spirit works to DO what we cannot do… (1 Jn 1:17, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from ALL sin” (Regrets).

Consider what Jesus said we can apply to our desire to be healed of our regrets. Mt 7:7

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more WILL your Father who is in heaven give GOOD THINGS to those who ask Him!

What a wonderful promise! Do you have regrets? Do you struggle emotionally? Is there someone close to you that needs to hear and embrace God’s Truth? On the authority of God’s Word I ask you to take God at His Word. Believe Him. Seek… ask… knock! Need further affirmation? 2 Pet 1:3

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, thru the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, 4 by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the DIVINE NATURE…

Remember the hymn How Firm A Foundation? “The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not, I will not desert to its foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.” Heb 13:5… “I will never leave nor forsake you!”

Conclusion: Consider Phil 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you WILL bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

God is always at work in His children. He is always calling the sinner to salvation. Nothing is stronger than the blood of Jesus. I hope you’ve embraced that idea from the Scripture this morning. I pray that you will take God at His Word because He is greater than you, your sin, or your heart. God has not left your sanctification to chance (Ro 8:29), He IS conforming you to the image of Christ (Phil 1:6).

God brought you here to hear a message of hope. He uses your regrets to draw you closer (Back?) to Him. Why live another day in bondage… another hour depressed… another minute in fear? Jesus Christ died and was resurrected to deliver you from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light!

He may or may NOT change your circumstances, but He WILL work IN you as He did with Paul, “I have learned whatever circumstance I am in to be content” (Phil 4). This from the one who persecuted the church… killed Christians. If anyone had (Past tense!) a regret it was Paul. But Christ erased it as we know from the Scripture today.

Oh! Won’t you embrace Christ anew? Believe God! Or maybe today is the day of salvation for you! Repent of your sin and surrender to Jesus…