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 After A Mistake

   Everyone makes mistakes, and misguided decisions. Even those of us who are saved, and God's beloved children. Some are out of thoughtlessness, others out of folly. Still others were carefully thought over, but turned out wrong anyway. Fortunately, most wrongs can be made right, and most issues solved.

   But what happens if you have made a decision or mistake that has saddened other people? Perhaps it has dishonored you in Christ's eyes, or injured your witness for Christ, in man's eyes? This is a wound that might seem insurmountable, and irreparable to you.

   That must be why the Bible emphasizes Christ's willingness and power to redeem.

   In righteous indignation, the Lord makes it very clear. God leaves no room for doubt.

* "Thus saith the Lord ... Is my hand shortened, that I cannot redeem? ... have I no power to deliver?" Isaiah 50:1,2

   Two of the meanings in the dictionary, of the word "redeem" are as follows:
   redeem To save from a state of sinfulness and its consequences.
   redeem To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of.

   You may feel utterly destroyed, when you bow at the feet of Christ, a humbled and broken person. You may feel that there is nothing that could ever repair your disgrace, and the disappointment you have caused your beloved Savior. Nothing that could ever change the sadness you have caused others.

   But that is exactly the time when, if you lift a shamed and faltering hand in repentance toward the God of your salvation, He will take it, lift you, and begin to heal. Your anguished prayers are probably mostly for those who may be sorrowing because of you. He will not forget his promise to work ALL things together for good, to them who love Him. Not just all good things, but all dreadful messes you may have made in your life.

   Not only can He redeem, but also purify. To purify goes beyond cleansing. The third meaning in the dictionary is "To free from sin, guilt, or other defilement."

* our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:13b,14

   Christ will never leave the ones hurt by the consequences of your actions. He loves them dearly. He will be healing their wounds in the way, and in the time that He sees best. It will hurt you, to see that the healing takes much time. You will wish so much that you could go back, and change the situation, so no hurt would have ever happened. But you cannot. You can only move forward.

   Christ will be working in your life as well. You are precious to Him, no matter what has happened. As you direct your attention, and keep your gaze on those things which please God, you will begin to experience healing.

   He will not give up on you. Never! When your life begins to reflect His love again, He will allow you to again be given the honor of serving Him. Yes, He will! In time, He will redeem your life in the eyes of man. He will show you, step by step, how to go on. Little by little, He will guide you, in how to proceed with the life you might have thought had been made useless. He will show you new mercies, morning by morning. The Bible says so.

   It is not God's will for you to remain in sorrow forever, over your mistakes. It is not God's will for you to bow in shame for the rest of your life. You have learned something valuable. He wants you to take that knowledge, and rise up, and work for Him, being a more humble, and better witness, because of that knowledge.

* For the Lord God shall help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Isaiah 50:7

* For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5

2004 Rosemary Gwaltney