Accepting forgiveness and restoration

Published 10:37 am Thursday, March 28, 2019

It has been said, “Our lives are defined by opportunities, including the ones we miss. Let us not weep over chances we have missed, but rather for the ones we did not take.”
When I look back over my life, I can see where I’ve made plenty of mistakes and I’ve also missed out on some wonderful opportunities. Maybe you are saying the same thing. If so, I encourage you to resist the temptation to live in regret. Humans are fallible creatures and we all make wrong choices, but hopefully through our failures and disappointments we can learn more about ourselves and that is a good thing.
James Joyce is quoted as saying, “mistakes are the portals of discovery,” and there is no doubt they can be a significant part of our personal development process. I realize that living in denial is much easier than facing the truth or forgiving ourselves, but repentance is a more worthwhile endeavor than living with the overwhelming feelings of guilt and condemnation.
We can either embrace the inclination to allow negative thoughts to haunt us and keep us subdued with sadness, or we can resist this emotional torture by calling on the Lord to heal our heart and renew our mind.
God’s plans and ways are bigger than our mistakes and lost opportunities. He is not only ready to forgive and restore us, He can fill our life with confidence, hope and victory.
Psalm 103:11-12 is a wonderful promise about being forgiven and is filled with hope for all eternity. “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
It’s common when suffering from disappointment and regret, to be reminded of certain individuals we secretly blame for our failures. However, as the water is long gone under the bridge, there is no need to hold on and replay the scenarios of what could have been. You’ve suffered enough.
It’s important to consider walking around in this negative and stressful state of mind can lead to depression, anxiety and even physical health problems. It would be wise to make a list of those we need to forgive and sincerely ask God to help us while making sure our name is at the top.
You see, bitterness and resentment can hold us in a spiritual and mental prison, but sincerely giving it over to God is the key that can open the door to freedom. We are the only one that can choose to put an end to us living in the misery of an unchangeable past.
Alice Walker is quoted as saying, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they do not have any.” The Bible refers to the devil as the accuser of the brethren and he is constantly trying to flood our mind with negative and damaging persuasions.
Some individuals may try to pretend their past never happened or maybe these memories will all just go away which sounds nice but running away from reality is not the answer. Denial is hiding from the truth, but being honest with God and ourselves is always the pathway to peace.

Dr. Billy Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a minister, author and outreach chaplain. Read more at

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