Refuse a Life of Regrets

‘Destiny’ is probably one of the most significant words in human vocabulary. Destiny is coded in our spiritual DNA, and long before we actually arrived on the scene, God wove it in the bloodline that made our very existence possible. At this moment, the search to fulfill our destiny is either driving our aspiration to expand into the person we are meant to be, or the neglect of it is fueling a level of ambivalence that frustrates our every move. Fulfilling one’s God-inspired destiny is the measuring stick by which the umph of life is gauged. Without it, we don’t understand what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. The epiphany that many realize sometimes very late in life is that everything about them was destined for a purpose, and it didn’t become clear until so much had been wasted. When we talk about regrets, this is often a doozy.

The psalmist wrote about the Lord in Psalm 16:11(NKJV), “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Who better to show us the path of life than the Creator of it? He will reveal what He has in mind for us IF we’re interested in following it, but there are a few other things that we must know as well. One of them is about how the Father reveals this path of destiny to us. He’s a God of the exceedingly abundant, but the golden rule of abundance is that it doesn’t support wastefulness. God has structured the laws of the universe in such a way that ignorance and poor stewardship are not rewarded. So, if we have no interest in fulfilling our destiny or gaining knowledge of it, it is doubtful we’ll recognize the path to its treasure; for we will not position ourselves anywhere near its proximity.

Very often, Heavenly Father reveals our purpose in pieces. Once we’ve shown ourselves interested in following the path He’s placed before us, He reveals a nugget and then waits on our response. What should this response be? Primarily, it should be one of gratitude, for this is the key that opens the door to a blessed life. In Old Testament times, people worshipped God by offering the sacrifice of animals, but God made it clear to them in Psalm 50:10 that everything they offered belonged to Him anyway. In Psalm 50:14(NLT), He gives us a directional cue that leads to the path and tells us, “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.”

The sadness of regret is often caused by believing we are worse in the present because of something that happened or didn’t happen in the past. It’s something we perceived as a missed opportunity. We should never become emotionally distraught or vexed over one or two missed opportunities. Our God is a Redeeming God. Nothing is lost to us when His love is the driving force of our lives. Heavenly Father has seen to it that opportunities are strategically positioned all around us, but when our hearts are closed to gratitude, we are blind to opportunities we might otherwise see. This is another very important truth for us to nibble on. Colossians 4:2 encourages us to devote ourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart, because the more thankful we are to God for His blessings, the more opened our eyes will be to what He has in store for us.

In our everyday dealings, we cast serious shade on an individual that walks around like they deserve the best but does nothing to earn it. There’s some biblical basis for this, because Jesus Christ tells us in Luke 6:43-44 The Message (MSG), “You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.” A tree is known by the fruit it produces. In other words, we know the treasury of a person’s heart by their deeds and actions. Our Heavenly Father has shown us who He is, and proved it, through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

Our God deserves the highest form of praise and worship. He deserves the greatest of all we have to give, because this is exactly what He has poured into us. Our well of gratitude to Him for what He’s done through Christ enlightens our understanding in ways we can never articulate. Ephesians 3:17 tells us that as our gratitude deepens, our roots grow down into God’s love and keep us strong. This is how we refuse a life of regrets, by clinging to the One who loves us more than we can fathom. The sacrifice and resurrection of Christ shows us how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is. And when we experience this overwhelming love through Christ, Ephesians 3:19 tells us we will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from our God.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Refuse a Life of Regrets”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness

“The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?”
Proverbs 18:14 (NLT)

Anyone who has taken steps toward healing wounds left from the trauma of domestic violence and abuse can speak to the residual emotional pain it causes. A person can move past the situations and conditions where they were exposed to abuse. We can put it long behind us, but this doesn’t mean that we’re healed and delivered from the effects of it. You can be doing your own thing, going about your humdeedumdum business, and all of a sudden, “WHAMMM!!!” It hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s an avalanche of heaviness that looms over your life like a dark cloud, and it just knocks you for a loop. You can’t shake it, and you can’t explain why you feel so bad.

It is almost unheard of to expect a child, 4 or 5 years of age, to lead a company of soldiers into combat or to go to work every day and support an entire family. Most mature and intelligent individuals understand these are unreasonable expectations for a person so young. It is, however, conceivable that a child could have the mental prowess for extraordinary accomplishments, but he or she wouldn’t have the emotional or physical development to carry out such things. Most of us can certainly fathom the absurdity in placing overwhelming burdens on a young one, but when it comes to the overburdening that we have experienced, some of us are not nearly as compassionate as we should be toward ourselves.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” One of the reasons that millions fall madly in love with Jesus Christ is because the record of him in the bible testifies of his goodness. He walked upon this earth being both fully human and fully God. He’s our High Priest, and Hebrews 4:15 says that he was tempted in every way that a human can be, but never sinned. This verse tells us that he understands what we go through. He has intimate knowledge of our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Jesus Christ is brilliant, all-powerful, and supremely intelligent. He would not tell us to do something unless it is absolutely necessary for us to get it done. He knows that we’re going to go through things in life that will completely overwhelm our mental and emotional resources. He also knows that the burden of those experiences is too much for us to carry. As a way of preserving ourselves, many of us buried those feelings long ago. We pressed them down deep and may not have realized we did this. The thing is, nothing stays buried unless it’s dead. Residual pain and sadness from traumatic experiences doesn’t die. It must be released, and this is a process that our Lord and Savior will help us walk through.

For years too many to number, believers have suffered sadness in silence. Many were too ashamed to speak their own personal truth about what they’ve endured, and for some, pain is buried so deep that they’re unable to call a spade a spade. Like me, they wake up one morning not wanting to face the day and not knowing why. If you’ve suffered prior abuse or any traumatic event and you’re experiencing overwhelming sadness, it is very important that you know it’s possible to dissipate the dark cloud over your life. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. My prayer is that you will ask the Lord Jesus Christ for help and trust him to divinely heal you from the inside out through his healing power and amazing love. Pray that he will also connect you with Godly people, relationships, and resources that will help you fully embrace his light and remain in it continually.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

How many times do we tell ourselves that things are going to get better? But day after day, we end up with the same set of disappointing circumstances. You think to yourself, “Hey, I may not be perfect, but I’m a pretty nice person. I treat others with kindness and try not to hurt anyone. When is my time coming? When am I going to catch a break?” I think we would be absolutely amazed to know how many people are feeling the same way. You do your best to run the race that is before you, but you’re feeling like your tank is running a little low. When it’s filled, you don’t want regular, you want high-test. You want the premium stuff. Life is short, and it’s about time for you to experience a little bit of high-octane living.

One of the most quintessential questions asked by anyone inquisitive about the way in which the universe works is “Do bad things happen to good people?” The answer to this question is a resounding “YES!” Indeed, bad things do happen to good people. But how does this square with what we’ve been taught about the moral compass of religious discipline? How does it line up with John 10:10, where Jesus Christ tells us that he came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly? If we are to access what he came to earth to provide, why is it that we can’t access it by being the good people he wants us to be?

It is baked into most people’s psyche that good people are supposed to win. There are many cases, some very public, where the appearance of this belief doesn’t seem to pan out. I don’t know about you, but I can think of many instances where folks that are compassionate, caring, supportive, and sensitive are stepped on. Their kindness is taken for weakness, and they seem to always get the raw end of the deal. It may seem this way sometimes, but God is the One with the final say, and He tells us that if we patiently endure, we will reap the reward.

In order that you and I can have a springboard from which to jumpstart a true understanding of why we’re here and more than that, how to live authentically through Christ, we must make new room in our brain cells for a reality of existence that exceeds the realm of what we call ‘good’. To be frank, according to the truth spoken by Christ in Matthew 19:17(NLT), “There is only One who is good.” And this ‘One’ is God the Father. Our good works and His goodness are nowhere in the same vicinity. As students of Christ, we are learning on earth to become more like him with each passing day, and whether our level of goodness will pass the heavenly sniff test remains to be seen. Our motives are not always pure. But despite our flaws and weaknesses, the reality is that even with our shortcomings, we are sons and daughters of God, and brothers and sisters of Christ. How we come to grips with this awesome privilege and honor, as well as the level of our gratitude for it, will measure the degree to which we live completely, fully, and wholly in the bliss of his glory.

The reality is that just being what we call ‘good’ and sincere is to not going to provide access to the kind of life we want. Something more than being a good person is required of us. After Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, he was led in the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, and there he fasted 40 days and nights. Afterwards, he was very hungry, and it’s not too much of a stretch to say that his strength was not at full capacity. It was in this very vulnerable state that our Lord and Savior was tempted by the devil. 

No greater kindness, compassion, love, and humility exists than that of Jesus Christ. If there was anyone who deserved to be exempt from the darkness of evil and bad things, it was him. Yet, we find him facing this extreme evil at a very challenging time. The devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, but Jesus would not acquiesce to the devil’s level. How did he face it? Matthew 4:4(NLT) tells us exactly how he handled the temptation. He said, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

God tells us in Galatians 6:9-10 that we should never get tired of performing good deeds, and we should do them as often as we have opportunity. He tells us to do good to everyone, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we should be clear that our goodness and sincerity doesn’t exempt us from challenges in life. The issue isn’t what we face, but HOW we face it! We are to lean upon the strength of God. Isaiah 40:29(NLT) tells us, He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Just like our Master Jesus, we must know that true goodness is every word that comes from the mouth of God. His Word is life to us, and if we place our trust in it, He tells us that in due season we will reap a harvest of blessings.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!