I was reading devotional material as I was preparing my heart for the Easter Season. A quote by Fulton Oursler slowed my progress as I considered its truth. “We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.”
After due deliberation, I breathed a sigh of relief. While there are things from the past that I should have done differently, Jesus has lifted the guilt. Trusting in God’s word, I live without deep regret. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NKJV). Scripture declares “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). How wonderful to experience the incredible message of Easter knowing I have been forgiven and redeemed by the Lord’s sacrifice for me.
I am also free to move into the future without fear. The Lord’s word blesses me with this assurance, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). I likewise rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus loves me, and, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18, NIV). Because of God’s amazing grace, the torturous thieves of regret and fear have no hold on me.
Dread of the past and trepidation about tomorrow are needless pains we bear. The Christ of Calvary laid down His life for us. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13, NKJV). What a friend we have in Jesus! I love the words of Joseph M. Scriven’s great hymn:
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief’s to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
~ Brother Roy