2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT)
10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There�s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
The Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian church about a specific incident that took place. The incident caused sorrow and pain for several because there was an issue of sin that had been neglected by the church. The church felt regret for not dealing with the sin. But the Apostle tells them there should be no regrets; for the pain and sorrow they experienced brought them closer to Christ.
The Webster�s dictionary tells us regret is a sorrow caused by circumstances beyond one�s control or power to repair. Regret is an emotion that dwells on the past. Regret makes us long for something different and is outside of our control to correct or repair. Regret will keep us bound to the past hurts, pains, wounds, sorrows and other negative emotions. There are many regrets in this world that range from experiencing pain and trauma as a child to making bad decisions as an adult that have severe consequences. The sad part is we cannot change those regrets. We cannot go back into the past and fix the abuse we may have experienced as a child by the hands of an adult. We cannot go back to change a decision that took us down a wrong road. We cannot undo a sin that hurt us and other loved ones in the process. Fortunately we have a God who can change those things because He doesn�t just exist in the present, but instead exists in the past, present and future.
God can take away our regrets and transform our sorrows into useful and meaningful works. For instance a person who abused others said God changed him and now he works to punish abusers and inform others about abusiveness. I have heard the testimony of criminals and how God changed their lives and put them in a position of ministry to serve others. Former drug abusers once addicted to drugs serve as counselors to lead others away from drugs. Abuse victims have used their pain to help others face the same pain they experienced. Cancer patients in recovery give hope to those with cancer. The widowed show others life goes on even in the face of death.
Sorrow may still be present, but God takes away the regret and lets others see how the trials they faced can be transformed into something good. God knew what was happening the past and He planned for good without regret to come from the sorrow. As Joseph said to his brothers who sold him into a miserable slavery, �You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.�