• BearCreek.Church

You Can Begin Again: Regrets, Part 1

Updated: Apr 13



January 10, 2021


Pastor David teaches that the starting point for releasing regret is learning what God is like, and then believing that it is true:


1. Learn how God relates to you

2. Learn how God treats a regret

3. Learn how God's memory works

The bible reveals again and again what God does with our sins and mistakes:

  1. He lays them on his Son - Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53:6

  2. Christ takes them away. John 1:29

  3. They are removed an immeasurable distance - as far as East is from West. Psalms 103:12

  4. When sought for, they are not found. Jeremiah 50:20

  5. The Lord forgives them. Ephesians 1:7

  6. He cleanses them ALL away by the blood of his son. 1 John 1:7

  7. He cleanses them as white as snow. Isaiah 1:18; Psalms 51:7

  8. He abundantly pardons them. Isaiah 55:7

  9. He tramples them underfoot. Micah 7:19 (RV)

  10. He remembers them no more. Hebrews 10:17

  11. He casts them behind his back. Isaiah 38:17

  12. He casts them into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19

  13. He covers them. Romans 4:7

  14. He blots them out. Isaiah 43:25

  15. He blots them out as a thick cloud. Isaiah 44:22

  16. He blots out even the proof against us, nailing it to His Son’s Cross. - Colossians 2:14


Challenge: Read each verse in full. Which ones stir you the most or may help you to release your regrets?



So, we started this new series last time, it's called “You Can Begin Again”. It has its foundation in this: The way God created the universe; it's designed into the universe is that you can begin again. Martin Luther said it like this, “To progress is always to begin, always to begin again.” And so, we said that it’s hardwired into how God has created everything. We said it's in the seasons, and it's in all kinds of realities. But most of all, it is in the story of your faith. When you open the Word of God, and you begin in Genesis, and you flow through all of the Old Testament into the New Testament, all the way to Revelation, what you find is a thousand stories of God's activity in individuals lives and people groups’ lives. And that activity is over and over, that you can begin again. It's true 1000 years before Christ. It's true 2000 years after Christ as well. And so here is the reality: After setback, after failure, after tragedy, after unfair circumstance, God says you can begin again. And here's what it can mean first in your life, from introduction, the last time to today, here's what it can mean. I think first in your life, you have a way of dismantling your most unbearable regrets. You can be free in a way that releases you from drowning in your past. That's incredible news. You can be free from that internal thing that poisons everything inside of you. You can be free from the compulsion to replay nonstop, something you hate from your past; you can be free from your most debilitating, overwhelming regrets. And I want you to be free of the kind of regret that badgers you, that won't leave you alone. Maybe it's that I've done something that caused real damage regret. Maybe it's I did something incredibly selfish, regret, and it still has consequences in your life today. Maybe it's the regret of what your anger has done, or maybe the regret of how you've allowed life to affect you so negatively. And now it just feels like your brain is in your heart and it won't let you be happy or pleased or at peace about anything. Do you realize to begin again, from God as your source, to begin again, means that you can be free from your most overwhelming regrets? And God speaks into your regret. He speaks promise into your regret. He speaks grace and forgiveness and peace and healing into it.


And I want to show that to you from sacred Scripture; in fact, it's from an ancient scripture; it's almost 3000 years old. It's in the prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 43. God is speaking to his people. And so, He's speaking to them in an ancient moment, and he's speaking to us in this very contemporary moment. And listen to it. Isaiah 43, starting in verse 22. The Bible says here is God saying to His people:

Yet you did not call upon me Oh, Jacob, but you have been weary of me. Oh, Israel. You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings or honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings or wearied you with frankincense. You have not bought me sweet cane with money or satisfied me with the fact of your sacrifices. But you have burdened to me. God says, with your sins you have wearied me. Isaiah 43:22-24

He says with your iniquities, verse 25, is where everything turns. Verse 25, God says,


I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

There's something powerful there. And here's why it's powerful because the Word of God speaks supernaturally, it has a supernatural power to speak into our lives. And so, when we embrace it, it changes us and watch this big idea rise up out of this passage. The big idea for this message is this: The starting point for releasing regret, is learning what God is like. Does that sound too simple to you? The starting point for releasing regret starts here;. it starts with learning what God is like, and then just simply believing that it's true. And I want you to embrace that over the next few moments.


And so, the starting point for releasing regret; how do you get started? It starts with learning what God is like. Well, what do I need to know about God? What do I need to know He is like? Let me give you three learning points. Are you ready? Number one: Learn this: If you want to be able to start the process of releasing regret within, learn how God relates to you.. And so, in verses 22 through 24 of Isaiah 43, they're strange verses because here's God saying to His people, you haven't brought offerings to me. And He names them; you haven't you haven't brought burnt offerings, sheep offerings, and you haven't brought frankincense., You haven't brought sweet cane, you haven't brought any of these offerings to me. Except it doesn't make any sense. Because for more than 1000 years, the temple system had been in operation. And this was it was a nonstop factory of offerings on the altar to the Lord. And so how do we get this? Well, here's how you make sense of it. First, realize that all ancient prophets of the Old Testament, are written in poetic form. And so, it's using all the devices that a poetic form would use. And more than anything, you need to realize God is saying something below the surface here. I mean, if this feels a little bit strange, it's simply because we're just reading the text wrongly. Because God is saying this. “Look, you've come to the temple. And you have handed in your offerings, but it's empty, because you weren't worshipping me.” That's a that's quite an indictment of his ancient people. And it's the same indictment to his 21st century people. We can gather, we can gather in church, we can gather in our gatherings, but we can also just go through the motions. And so, He's telling them, you weren’t reaching out to me, but you were just going through the motions of religion. And you were expecting it to do something, you were expecting it to do what man made religion always does. Man-made religion is always designed to obligate the deity to do stuff for them. It always goes like this; name any man- made religion, and it goes like this: I do stuff to appease you, God, and then you do stuff to help me; that's the way it works, it's an exchange. And so, when you think of God, He uses this word “weary” repeated three times in those five verses. And so when you think of God and it just wearies you, then it's probably describing something that's going on in your life. Listen to this, it's probably that you just don't know how to have a relationship with Him. What's the first thing that you need to learn to release regret, is how God relates to you and He doesn't relate to you the way man made religion works it out for God to work to relate to you. It is not that you do some stuff for Him, and then He does some stuff for you. He relates to you in a completely different way. If you think you can obligate Him to do things for you, in return for what you do for Him, you have a form of human religion. I've got to tell you that the way of human religion is empty, it's tiring, it's fatiguing, it doesn't work; it will make you weary. And you'll never find healing for the regrets in your life. It’s because you don't know how to have a relationship with Him; to relate to Him in the same way that He relates to you.


Let me illustrate. Several years ago, an elderly woman came to me as her pastor, and she wanted to share just this burden that she had in her life. She was elderly, and she has since passed away. And so, she told me about being a young wife in the 1960s, and another young woman seduced her husband; they had an affair.


Her husband abandoned the marriage and went and married this other woman. And then she said, in really low tones, , and then I did the same thing. I went out and seduced a married man and had an affair and forced him to divorce his wife and marry me, just so that I would have a husband. And then she said, “That's why I'm here; because I don't believe that God will ever forgive me for doing that.” She said, after the second marriage, she forced her husband and herself to move to a completely different part of the country, and to sort of start over there. They started attending church, and she got very active in in that church. And she said she had spent the rest of her life doing everything she could do to get God's forgiveness. And then she said, but I don't think He ever has. And I'm so tired of trying to get His forgiveness. And I'm scared that it means that I'll never get to have it. And then she was silent. She looked at me, for me to give her the reassurance that she came to see me for. I was quiet for a long time, I realized how old and mature she was, how long she had fought and strived to get this forgiveness. And so, I said back to her. “Well, it's impossible to get God's forgiveness for that”. Yeah, you weren't distracted and missed what I said. I said to her, “Yeah, well, it's impossible to get God's forgiveness for that.” She was stunned to hear that, I could tell. She just stared at me. And then I said, then I said, “No, you will never get God's forgiveness by doing everything you can to get it. That's where you're wrong. You simply need to come to know God better. You need to learn to relate to Him in the way that He relates to you. Because that's not how He relates to you, by your doing everything you can do to get His forgiveness. That's human religion.” Here's the scandal of the gospel, that God is a perfect God, that He's morally complete and perfect. And His justice is absolute. And so, when we sin against Him, what is the answer: that justice must be paid? And so, what did God do? Because He loves us infinitely, He sends a part of himself, Christ, to die on the cross in our place for our sin, for the penalty that we owe God for our sin. And so, He satisfies His perfect, righteous justice. And he offers absolute and complete love. It's all done in the Gospel. It's all done in Christ on the cross. And so how do you do everything to get God's forgiveness?


Here's how you do it: You receive what He's already offered you, His forgiveness. His greatest pleasure is found in pouring out His grace on you. And so, the first thing, look, if you want to start the process of releasing regret, well, first it's about learning how God relates to you.


But then secondly, it's about learning how God treats our regret, not just how He relates to you. But number two, how He treats a regret; that's found in verse 25. And so, He says there, “Here I am He who blots out your transgressions for my name’s sake.” That it is loaded with meaning. And so, first you should learn His nature. Look how emphatic the grammar is in the beginning of the verse. “I am He”; He’s saying something important there. He's making the case that He's the only one in existence, who has the power, who has the authority, who has the will and the grace to say the thing or to do the thing that He is about to say; and what is it? “I am He who blots out your transgressions.” It's a statement of identity. It's His nature. Who is this God? Who is this God that you serve? Here's who He is, He is the blotting out transgressions, God, that's who you serve. And why does He do it? Because it's who He is. It's His nature. It is His nature to blot out our transgressions. But learn His authority to do it. He blots out; that's a legal term. It means to do something, it means to expunge the record. Everybody in the legal profession knows what that means to have a record expunged. You know, it means this: Maybe you have a rap sheet. This is hypothetical; okay? So maybe you have a rap sheet and you've been charged with shoplifting, or burglary, or assault, or a drug charge, or murder, I don't know. And then you go before a judge, and this judge acts in your behalf. He doesn't offer probation, he doesn't commute your sentence, he doesn't reduce you to time served. He says I'm going to expunge the record. It means that legally, there is no more record of your offense. That's what it means to blot out or to expunge the record. Officially, the offense doesn't even exist anymore. And that is the power of the gospel. That is the power of the forgiveness of Christ on the cross for you. All of God's justice is satisfied in the love death of Christ on the cross for you. It's a legal act, that God executes on your behalf for your sin; He blots out your transgression. He punctuates that even more, in verse 25, when He says “I do it for my own name’s, sake.” It just means I'm just demonstrating to you who I am. This is just a demonstration of what I do. Grace comes from somewhere, right? Where does it come from? It comes from the nature of God, and it comes from the activity of God, because it is who He is. How do you start the process of releasing regret; of stop living in the memory of that negative thing in your past? It comes with just coming to know God better, and how should you know Him, learn how He relates to you, and then learn how He deals with a regret. It turns out, learning to accept His forgiveness for most of us, turns out to be a process. We can hear it, we can acknowledge it, we might even say we can believe it. But taking it into us, and it becoming a reality in us, usually is a process. That's why we're going to do a second message out of coming back or beginning again, from regret. We're just laying the foundation today; today is how you start. And how you start is you come to know God better. How do you know Him better? Learn how He relates to you learn what He does with regret.


Let me just show you the process. Let me let me tell you about somebody. There was a woman named Rosalind Goforth. She was actually a well-known missionary to China many years ago. And she was a missionary there when it was very difficult to be a missionary in China. But for many years, even as a missionary in China, she often felt oppressed by a burden of regret. And she felt guilty all the time, always carrying around this inward sense of spiritual failure. And finally, she’d had enough of her own doubt, enough of her own burden and regret. And so, she sat down and decided she would walk through every page of Scripture and find out what the Word of God says that God does with our sins and our mistakes. And so, she took a sheet of paper, and she titled it exactly that; ‘What God does with our sins and mistakes” That was the title. And then she began to search all the way through scripture, page, after page after page. When she finished, she had 16 things that God does with our sins and our mistakes. And I'm going to dump them out on you right now; all 16.


  1. He lays them on his Son - Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53:6

  2. Christ takes them away. John 1:29

  3. They are removed an immeasurable distance - as far as East is from West. Psalms 103:12

  4. When sought for, they are not found. Jeremiah 50:20

  5. The Lord forgives them. Ephesians 1:7

  6. He cleanses them ALL away by the blood of his son. 1 John 1:7

  7. He cleanses them as white as snow. Isaiah 1:18; Psalms 51:7

  8. He abundantly pardons them. Isaiah 55:7

  9. He tramples them underfoot. Micah 7:19 (RV)

  10. He remembers them no more. Hebrews 10:17

  11. He casts them behind his back. Isaiah 38:17

  12. He casts them into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19

  13. He covers them. Romans 4:7

  14. He blots them out. Isaiah 43:25

  15. He blots them out as a thick cloud. Isaiah 44:22

  16. He blots out even the proof against us, nailing it to His Son’s Cross. - Colossians 2:14



And she learned to release her regret. How did she learn it? She learned it by knowing her Father better, by knowing her God better. This is who He is; this is what He does with a regret. She came to discover who God is. He is the one who blots out my sin; that's who He is. And that's who He is for you He is the God that you serve, the God of the Bible. He is the one who bought out your sin, God, that's who He is. One of the reasons you may not be released from the regret you feel is that you misunderstand who God is. That's how basic it is. And when you put your faith in the one who blots out your sin, God, you start a journey. It's the starting point, you start a journey to freedom and joy, and release from your worst regrets.


Here's a very practical insight. Nobody ever experiences release until they have a regret, until they have a regret break through. There must be this moment that the Word of God and that the nature of God has an impact on you. It is not just to say, “Blah, blah, blah, God is good. God loves me, everything's good.”


You have to be impacted by the reality of who God is, and what he has done on the cross through Christ. And what he has done there, what He has done there is He has blot out your sin, your mistakes, and you can be released from your regret. That's got to be a breakthrough in your spirit.


But there's a last thing to learn. I mean, releasing regret, there's a starting point for it. And it's simple; just learn God. Just learn, how He relates to you learn what He does with regret. And then number three, learn how God's memory works. The second part of verse 25 says “And I will not remember your sin. And I will not remember your sin.” He's saying this really deliberately, in order to set up kind of a contrast, because He is making a distinction between being a forgetful God; forgetting something, and not remembering something. There's a distinction that's being made here. It is not that God is a perfect, forgetful God. It is not that God has existed so long that he looks at you and goes, “Hey, yeah, yeah. Hey, wait, I know you did something. I just can't remember what it is. I forget what it is.” No, it's a deliberate act on God's part. “I will not remember your sins.” It is not a bad memory. It is God actively choosing, using His divine prerogative to forget, to not remember. It's an incredible act of grace. It's a spiritual resource that God pours into you. It means that His forgiveness for whatever mistake you’ve made. ,,God's forgiveness flows out of His grace It's not rational, but it's full of love and mercy. It means He divinely chooses not to remember, and this is supremely relational. It means that He will never hold it against you, He will never use it against you ever, not ever. That's extremely good news., You've got to take that into yourself, this is what you need to know, you need to learn how God's memory works. And your memory needs to come to work the same way. Because you have a divine authority given to you by Him to do the very same, to deliberately not remember, after you have embraced Christ, after you have come to Him. After you've turned to Him, and I'm going to talk about that in a second. Then you can embrace a divine authority to not remember in a way that builds strength, it builds motivation, it builds energy and hope for the future. And it gives you this freedom to not remember, too, so you can be released from guilt and regret. And so, what does that mean? It means the accuser can come to you. And he can try to remind you over and over of your worst day, and you have the divine authority, the divine right to say to him, “No, wait a minute, I don't remember. In fact, I distinctly remember forgetting it.” Learning to forget what God forgets makes you powerful, makes you joyful, and motivated to strive for the upward call of God in your life.


Last Word, this is what you do. This is the starting point of releasing regret. And it's just one thing. Don't hide it. Don't stuff it. Don't blame others for it. Open it up before the Lord in God's presence. That thing from the past that badgers; open it up before the Lord. You're not revealing it to Him, He knows, open it up before the Lord and turn to Him. The Biblical word for turning to God is repentance. It means I stop; I turn around and I go the other way. And this regret, it's about you turning on that regret. And for you to lay it before Him and say God, “I want to know you better. I want to know how you relate to me. I want to know how you deal with regret. I want to have your memory. And so I put this before you and I ask you to listen to this, I ask you to forgive me of that selfish thing, that careless thing, that evil thing, whatever it is, I ask you to blot it out.” Let me tell you, if you can do that, before the Lord, God will start a process. He'll start it, it's just the starting point. He will start a process of beginning to expunge it from your own memory, too. And you can be free. He'll wipe His memory clean of your worst failure and your worst regret. And He will begin the process of wiping it from your memory, too.