A Fresh Start
From the archives of Oral Roberts
If there is anything that can rob you of your peace and happiness, I believe it’s nagging guilt over past mistakes and failures. Two of Jesus’ disciples, Judas and Peter, became burdened under the crushing weight of guilt. Both denied their Lord, both betrayed Him, and both suffered remorse because of it. Guilt destroyed Judas (see Matthew 27:3–5), while it brought about the beginning of a whole new life for Peter (see Matthew 26:75; John 21:15–19).
Because Peter discovered God’s answer for guilt, he turned back to Jesus. He not only felt sorry for what he’d done, but he stepped through the doorway of repentance and accepted God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. He received a brand-new beginning.
Peter’s story of the healing power of love reminds me of a story by John Steinbeck, “The Winter of Our Discontent”. Steinbeck tells of a man who consistently cheated to get ahead in business. After learning that his son had cheated in a contest, he confronted him. “Everyone is doing it, Dad, just like you,” his son replied.
Guilt overwhelmed the man, and he even considered suicide. But his daughter, sensing his great despair, told him of her love for him despite what he’d done, and she slipped a special stone into his pocket. Every time he reached into his pocket and felt that stone, he was reminded that someone loved him, no matter what.
If guilt from a mistake or wrongdoing is robbing you of peace and happiness, remember: God’s love for you is infinite. When you repent and confess, God forgives and forgets! Psalm 103:12 tells us that “as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Let God give you a fresh start today!