Letting Go of Regret

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Letting Go of Regret Devotional

I believed the lies and ruined the relationship.
Instead of biting my tongue, I spoke my mind.
I took my stress to the bakery instead of the Bread of Life.

I’ve made poor decisions in my life—lots of them. And I have regrets. Yours may differ from mine, but we all mourn the choices we wish we could take back.

As Christians, it’s hard to let go of regret because we don’t want to repeat our mistakes or re-injure our loved ones. However, God wants us to celebrate our regrettable choices, and He tells us how.

If you’ve ever been weighed down by regret, join me in the Book of Nehemiah to discover how to overcome regret.

a woman in a yellow sweater with her hand over her face and a text overlay that says Letting Go of Regret and the Worth Beyond Rubies logo

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength

And Nehemiah continued, “. . . Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.” So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.

Nehemiah 8:10b-12 NLT

Our Scripture finds us barging in on the climax of a revival as generations mutually choke on the bile of regret.

The Israelites had returned from seventy years in Babylonian captivity to find Jerusalem in ruins.

Under Nehemiah’s leadership, they’d finally finished restoring Jerusalem’s walls.

With their gates and their safety restored, this was a day to return to their God.

The people gathered in the city’s square to hear Ezra the scribe read God’s Word.

Ezra set the tone by leading the nation in praise and worship. As he read the law, the Levite priests helped the people understand God’s laws.

However, the mood took a sudden turn to mass weeping as the nation realized the depth of their collective sin and just how far they’d strayed from God.

We may see this as an expected and appropriate response from a sinful nation.

After all, shouldn’t remorse just be a normal consequence of poor behavior?

But Nehemiah and the priests told the people to celebrate and share their joy with others because the joy of the Lord is their strength.

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

So, what does it mean to take strength in the joy of the Lord? Why would God be happy as the people are mourning in regret?

Was He happy to see them finally realize how awful they’d been?

God isn’t happy to see us in mourning; He’s joyful for our return to Him.

Regret can be the root of repentance, so yes, God rejoices when we realize our sin. Just like the father of the prodigal son, God wants to welcome us back.

He wants us to join in His celebration as He embraces His wandering child.

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

The Israelites learned that we’re always one decision away from a better tomorrow.

God sent His only Son to die so we could receive forgiveness for our sins and come back to Him, so God celebrates every victory at the cross.

God sent His only Son to die so we could receive forgiveness for our sins and come back to Him, so God celebrates every victory at the cross. Click To Tweet

Your Turn

Have you heard the Word of God and understood the depth of your own sin? Thanks to Jesus, your sin can either define you or shape you. Let us make a choice today to let our sin shape us to be more like our Savior.

Jesus, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve sinned against others, myself, and You. Please forgive me. I’m mourning my choices, Lord, but I’m leaving my regret at the cross to receive Your comfort. Thank you for dying for me so I can join you in celebration for eternity. Amen.

NLT – Holy Bible: New Living Translation. 1994, 2004, 2007, 2013. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers

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