Do you have any regrets in your life? I’m not a betting man, but if I was, I’ll bet you do. I know I sure do. Regrets and failures in our lives are going to happen, we cannot escape them. But what we do after the regrets makes all the difference in the world.
Take Peter and Judas for example. Both of them, experienced deep regrets in their lives. In fact, Jesus even told them both what they were going to do to Him in their lives before they did it! The difference lies in what they both chose to do with their lives AFTER the regret and failure.
Peter was told that he would deny even knowing Jesus three times in the same evening, and Peter assured Jesus that he would never do such a thing. Since Jesus is never wrong, Peter did just that. He denied ever knowing Jesus just to save his own life. At one point after Jesus was beaten within an inch of His Earthly life, he looked Peter right in the eyes, and the Bible tells us that “Peter cried out mightily”, meaning that he was yelling and screaming and crying knowing what he had just done – the very thing he told Jesus he would not do.
Judas, after having turned Jesus over to the Pharisees for a bag of silver coins, finally realized what he had done and he threw the bag of silver coins back at the Pharisees and ran out weeping just as Paul had. The difference lies in what Judas did next – he found a huge tree and hung himself.
Both men experienced the exact same regret for their failures, yet both men made extremely different decisions as to how to handle their regrets. Peter knew who Jesus was, the Messiah and God in the second person, and therefore he knew that God would forgive Him. Judas, even though he was with Jesus for His entire ministry, had no real clue who Jesus was and was instead regretful how the people of Israel would view him from that day on and it was not good and he knew there was no coming back from that, so he took his own life.
Jesus does indeed forgive us of all of our sins and failures, if we only ask Him to with a repentant heart. Paul knew this and it was proven to be true when Jesus came back to Earth and greeted the Disciples again on the lake shore. When Jesus spoke, Peter jumped from the boat and ran up to Jesus and gave Him a huge hug and begged for forgiveness, which he was instantly forgiven.
Judas let his pride cloud his vision of the true Christ and the forgiveness that Jesus freely gives to those who accept Him as their Savior.
What will you do with your regrets? Will you let them define you? Will you let pride get in your way and stop you from the grace freely given by Jesus? Or will you instead do what Peter did and always remember that Jesus gave His very life for you and He is always willing to forgive you no matter what you do? It is my prayer for you that you will follow Peter’s example and let God forgive you of those regrets and be free of them.
With prayerful love,
Pastor Brad Komgenick