Those things (sin) result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:21-23)
I hope you are not struggling or feeling regret this morning. If you are struggling as we all do from time to time, take time out to talk to God. Moses was struggling one morning. He was leading the Jews to the Promised Land, and they were in a place without water. The people were complaining as any of us would. Moses let himself feel pressure because he was their leader and felt it was his responsibility to provide water for them. Of course, Moses knew that it was God’s responsibility and that God had been providing for all the needs of the Jews. God most likely felt that Moses and the Jews should be thankful for His provisions, but no one was thanking Him. Instead they were complaining. Moses waited until he was frustrated and angry before he went to God in prayer. God told Moses to speak to a rock and that it would give him water, but Moses was angry and struck the rock with his rod. God did not take Moses’ anger lightly. God wants us to be thankful for His provisions, “Moses, because you have done this, you will not be able to enter the Promised Land. When the people enter the land, you must stay behind because you have done this thing.” (Numbers 20:12) God was showing Moses and future generations that when we cling to anger or sin and don’t pray, there is a loss of freedom and of opportunity to receive the wonderful gifts God has in store for us.
How many times in life do we think, “only if” I hadn’t done that. Regret is powerful. Some of our regrets are from inaction. Sometimes there is an action that we need to take to unburden ourselves or to fulfill our hopes and dreams. First, pray about it. Second, use the “five-second rule.” This is a rule that I picked up from a pastor, Mark. Immediately count backward from 5 and launch yourself into action and do what it is that you need to do.
But perhaps you are feeling burdened because of the action or inaction of another. Someone else’s sin can be causing your “death.” You have the thought that there is nothing you can do about your burden. But there is something you can do, you can trust God to set you free. The person causing you this burden is probably not giving you a second thought. Maybe they don’t know they are causing you heartache. Perhaps they delight in causing you heartache. Whatever your burden is, Jesus died on the cross to set you free from it. He died so that you could have peace, not heartache. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). I’m challenging you to go to God in prayer, and ask Him to set you free from your burden and to help you feel peace. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We are studying the Bible, to know the truth of God and Jesus. The truth is you are a disciple of Jesus and you know why Jesus died for you on the cross. He died so that you can have peace and joy and freedom, not so that you can feel heavy and burdened. Go to God in prayer today. Pray for your burden to be lifted. If you need to do something, pray for God to show you what to do. If not, pray for comfort. Today, you can choose to feel miserable or trust God. You cannot do both. Thank God for His grace, His gifts to you of holiness, setting you free from burden, and eternal life. Being set free completely can be a process, but knowing that God will help you work through it, should give you hope, help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and put a smile on your face.