2 Timothy 1:11-12 (MSG)
“This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher.
It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.”
I find it fascinating and invigorating to think of the Apostle Paul living out his convictions even in the midst of certain and eventual death. Paul wasn’t a waffler, he wasn’t some guy who couldn’t make up his mind, in fact faith and conviction led him to proclaim the message of Christ and His kingdom even when it would cost him his life. That’s conviction.
A few years ago the “No Fear” labels appeared and were very popular in our culture. Why? Because it evoked this brazened mentality that no matter what took place in life, the one wearing the “no fear” label would approach life’s problems without fear. That too is conviction that doesn’t waffle or change. I’m reminded of Tom Petty’s song “I won’t back down” where it states this; “I won’t back down, no I won’t back down, you can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down.”
Living a life without regret isn’t easy, in fact it is the hardest thing to accomplish. The tides of life sometimes cause us to doubt, circumstances beyond our control sometimes challenges us to quit, and living without regret, at times, seems impossible. But I want to encourage you that living a life without regret is possible. Paul did it, and so can you. But here’s how we are even able to think about living this regret free life: Zechariah 4:6 says;
…” ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Now this verse comes from a different time, and different circumstances sure, but what it says to me and I hope what it says to you is that God and His power can overcome anything in this world!
Our convictions and hope should be rooted in the one who created everything around us! Jesus even said in John 15:5;“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Did you catch that? Apart from Him, we’re a lost cause. Living a life without regrets, begins with where our convictions are rooted in. If they are rooted in our own self confidence, something or someone will eventually come along and uprooted them and we will be greatly disappointed. If our convictions are rooted in other people, chances are those other people will eventually let us down or our expectations will not always be met. If our convictions are rooted in anything but the relationship and love that God has for us first and foremost then we will eventually experience regret in this life. Living a life without regret, like Paul lived begins in our convictions.
What are your convictions today? Are you living a life without regret?
If not, perhaps re-evaluate where and in whom you place your trust and convictions. We too, like Paul can bold state: “But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.”