Monday, January 23, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, January 23, 2017

Feeling Regret Over Bad Choices?

Tony Dorsett, a major superstar football player for the Dallas Cowboys, is in the fight of his life.  In a 2014 D Magazine, an article states that researchers have discovered he has signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain condition.  In another article, Dorsett stated, he had no idea "that the end was going to be like this." During the sixties, we first learned about the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer and we had not yet learned of the effects that marijuana could have on brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions. While cynics may scoff that we should have known the risks, the question remains, do any of us really know the end results of our decisions?

While we were living our daily lives, many of us made decisions that in hindsight could have used more thought. We might have hung around with the wrong people, partied excessively, ate the wrong food, neglected to exercise, or refused to have periodic medical exams.  Now we find ourselves at the end of our lives and are filled with regret at making poor choices.

But lest we become saddened, the Bible strikes a very hopeful note.  God says that for those that turn to Him, He would restore the years to us that we have wasted (Joel 2:25-26).  In the past we may have made bad decisions, but God wants us to know that in turning to Him, He can bless our latter end (Isaiah 61:7).  We may never achieve the heights that we could have had but God wants us to know that He is in the loving restoration business. He forgives sins, heals diseases, redeems our lives and restores our youth (Psalm 103:2-5).

It is true there are no time machines for do-overs but we serve a God that can make it all right.  He says in spite of our bad decisions, our one good decision to serve Him will allow Him to bless us in the midst of calamity, calm us in the midst of our storms, and heal us in the midst of health challenges.  Do not be sad over past decisions, but let us look unto God who can do anything for us but fail.

Joel 2:25-26
New International Version (NIV)
25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.

Isaiah 61:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

Psalm 103:2-5
New International Version (NIV)
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

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