Today’s article is for people who continually live under stress.  There are many things that rob our peace and cause frustration in our lives.  One of the big ones involves time,  Funny how everyone has 24 hours in their day, yet many say “they just don’t have enough time” to do all they need (or THINK) they need to do.  Have you noticed how time is speeding up? I was helping a friend remodel a room in his home and if you would have asked me, I would have told you it was last year. But the date on the photo was three years ago!  Where has the time gone?  I don’t know, but wherever it is, there is a lot of it that has wasted and not put to the best use.

Many people who don’t have peace in their life live with a lot of regrets about things that they could have, should have, or would have done, but didn’t.  Living in the past is a real time waster, for you cannot change what is already done.  And though it’s good to remember the past in order to learn from mistakes, it’s fruitless to allow yourself to be trapped there, for the LORD would have us live for Him NOW while preparing for the future.

The apostle Paul wrote a lot of the New Testament.  Do you think he had any regrets from his past?  Sure he did, but he didn’t let them cripple his future.  Here are some examples:
Act 22:4  And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
Act 26:9  I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Act 26:10  Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
Act 26:11  And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
1Co 15:9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Gal 1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

Could Paul go back and change all that?  No. but he said in Philippians 3:14-15:
Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The LORD wants us to have peace, and not regret. God has a WONDERFUL future all planned out for you, but you can’t move on to the future until you turn loose of the past.  How do you do that?  Glad you asked!  Here is where you start:
Pro 16:3  Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

The first step is the hardest.  It involves surrendering YOUR will, YOUR plans, YOUR desires unto the LORD and saying YOUR will be done instead of mine. We are so used to doing things OUR way, yet we often have so many regrets from having done so.  Odd, isn’t it? God will let you do whatsoever you want, yet He doesn’t put a leash on you and yank you back when you get out of line.  However you will live with the consequences of your choices, and you don’t get to choose the outcome of your choices.  Oh, and while you’re at it, you surrender all your sins to Him so you may be forgiven and start out on the right foot on your journey into the future.

When you commit your mind to the LORD, your thoughts will change.  And when your thoughts change, your words will change.  Before I came to the LORD, my speech could make a sailor blush, and the LORD helped me clean up my words.  As I learned to apply God’s Word to my life, it changed, and I went from a life of regret to one of anticipation of what God has in store for me.

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Pro 16:5  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
God never changes: what His word says is wrong, is still wrong today, no matter how many come together and “demand their rights” and say God’s word no longer applies today. Need I say more about that?  Sin is still sin, and God still hates sin, and no amount saying “it’s time for you to accept our lifestyle” will change God’s mind.  God made only ONE way for sins to be forgiven:  turn away from the sin, forsake it, and receive Christ Jesus.  There is no other way, period. Though we live in an age of grace, we CANNOT continue to practice sin and think God will accept us for doing so. To do that is to deceive ourselves.

Pro 16:6  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Only because God is merciful, do we even have an opportunity for salvation!  By obeying and acting upon His truth, God will set the captives free and give them peace.  Some people forsake their sins out of fear of being sent to hell. Others forsake their sins out of gratitude for being forgiven.  In my case, it was the latter, for now I know the LORD is my friend, not my enemy.  It’s very important you learn this one simple fact, for it will change your life for the good.  My previous “knowledge” of God was that He was an angry God who sat on a cloud with a flyswatter, waiting for me to light so He could smack me and send me to hell.  I use the word “knowledge” very loosely there, for I THOUGHT I HAD THE RIGHT OPINION OF GOD, when all along I had been taught ERROR, and I had to unlearn a lot of stuff.  Well, if you’re one of those people, and you’re looking from a sign from God, it’s located above the door of the church, and it says “EXIT”.  Use it.

Think about it, the LORD is FOR you, not AGAINST you.  If that were not the case, He would not have sent the Lord Jesus to die a horrible death on the cross to ransom you from your sins.  Yes, we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ Jesus, but for those who have Him for Lord and Savior, their sins are forgiven and they are clean as if they never even happened.  That means you can stand before Him unafraid, and full of praise and worship at His coming.  Well, that’s for the future; what about the HERE AND NOW?

Pro 16:7  When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Wouldn’t you love to have the favor of God upon your life?  You can have, you know, if your ways please the LORD.  And that isn’t hard to do.  God is clear in His Word the things which please Him.  Do that which pleases God, and don’t do the stuff that doesn’t please Him.  That’s so simple a first grader can understand.  Someone asked the Lord Jesus what the greatest commandment is:

Mat 22:36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
If you’re doing that which pleases the LORD, peace will abound in your life.  No, your circumstances may not always be pleasing to you, but you can still be at peace regardless, and your sleep will be sweet, knowing what is written in Psalm 34:

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Psa 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psa 34:9  O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
Psa 34:10  The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
Psa 34:11  Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Psa 34:12  What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Psa 34:13  Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Psa 34:14  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Psa 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psa 34:16  The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Psa 34:17  The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Psa 34:18  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psa 34:19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Live for the LORD and you will have no regrets to steal your time.  It all boils down to this simple statement:  KNOW JESUS; KNOW PEACE.  NO JESUS; NO PEACE.  It’s your choice, my friend; so choose wisely!