This was originally posted on September 23, 2008.
I recently heard someone praying and this person stated that, "We come to you with hearts full of regret for the past, and with hearts full of fear of the future." This caused me to think of our relationship to God and what should be the fruit of that relationship.
If we belong to the Father, we are his children. We are recipients of his love and grace. While our past is full of sin and mistakes, Jesus has redeemed our past on the cross. He has freed us from our sin and the guilt that comes from it. There are still times that I look and wish that I hadn't done certain things or had done other things differently. The difference between that and a "heart full of regret" is that I realize that there is nothing I can do about most, if not all, of those things; but that Jesus has done something about them. He has forgiven me and has even used some of those things to draw me to himself. So, like the Apostle Paul, I can forget the things behind me, and continue on toward being formed into the image of Christ.
I'll admit that I still struggle with worrying about the future. The Father is teaching me how to rest in his arms and trust him to do what is right and what is best. In Romans 8:15, Paul writes that God has given us a spirit, not of slavery to fear, but of sonship. By this spirit, we call God "Abba". We can trust our Abba completely, as a little child trusts his daddy no matter what. 1 John 4:18 tells us that their is no fear in love, that perfect love drives out fear.
Child of Abba, take heart. There is nothing in your past that has not been redeemed by Jesus. The Father uses everything to make us more like Christ, even the times we've screwed up. There is nothing in your future that you need to fear. God is already there, and there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from his love. Learn to rest in that love and let it cast out fear.
Don't let any person, trial, or circumstance try to convince you that God does not love you with an everlasting love. Don't let anyone tell you that you must do X, Y, or Z in order for God to be pleased with you. He already is.
May you be overwhelmed with Abba's love.
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