God Thought 6/7/23 1

Living Without Regret
YouVersion Bible Study
 Finding Peace Day 6
by Charles Stanley

I remember slowly hanging up the phone and then saying as I sighed deeply, “Well … it’s happened.”

The voice on the other end of the phone was an attorney, notifying me my wife had filed for divorce.

I’d lived with threats of divorce for many years. Yet even so, I was stunned by the news I was given.

Over the next several days, many different emotions and thoughts tumbled through my heart and mind. I didn’t want a divorce. I didn’t know exactly how to proceed to keep a divorce from happening. I didn’t know who to tell, or how I should tell them. I knew eventually I’d need to tell the entire congregation of the church I pastored, and I had no guarantee about how the board or the congregants would respond. The only certainty was the pressure of preparing for and delivering next Sunday’s sermon.

Even as my mind raced a million miles a second, I knew with absolute certainty deep within my heart these truths:

  •  God was not surprised by this action taken against me.
  •  God was in control of my life—He’d allowed this to happen for His purposes as part of His plan for me.
  • He’d promised in His Word never to leave me nor forsake me. He’d promised to be right by my side every step of the way; and therefore, all things would ultimately be for my eternal benefit if I’d only continue to trust Him fully.

The immediate facts of the situation created turmoil. The unchanging truth about God created peace.

Almost eight years after the attorney’s phone call, the divorce my wife sought was legally granted to her.

People have said to me in the years since: “Surely you must regret the loss of your marriage … that you failed in your fight to save your marriage … that all your efforts toward reconciliation didn’t work.”

My outward response has been mostly silence. My real, inward response to such comments is, Saddened, yes. Regret, no.

While I’m saddened that my marriage ended in divorce, I don’t live with an abiding sense of regret. Why? Because regret is rooted in unresolved guilt. I knew I had peace with God, and regret and guilt are therefore not part of my life.

I’ve found the best way to live without regret is to maintain a clear conscience. Choose to live in such a way that you do your best in every task and relationship, giving your best effort to live in a godly manner. Choose to trust God in every area of your life—not just the easy ones. Choose to obey Him and keep His commandments. Choose to forgive others fully. And choose the path God reveals for you to follow.

While no one can do all of this in their own power, with the Holy Spirit residing in us, we can turn from all forms of temptation to pursue peace with ourselves and others—and continue the good works God has authorized for us to do.
'Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, '

Philippians 3:13
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