No matter how bad a start you have had in life know that God is stronger and greater than your past. No matter how dark your past has been, how painful and hopeless it was, know that God will turn it around. You can look forward in hope because He has better things in store for you. Don’t let the negative things you experienced in the past make you think that things will not change. They will change because God is in full control of your life and He has an amazing future in store for you.
I think of Mary Magdalene.
She had a rough start. She had been demon possessed and was a prostitute but her life was turned around when she met Jesus. He cast out the seven demons that had possessed her (Luke 8:1, 2). Her life was never the same after she met Jesus.
She was the first person to see Jesus after He got resurrected (John 20:14-17)
We don’t know much about her life after Jesus ascended to heaven but I would like to guess she was used mightily by God. Her life was never the same again because Jesus turned her darkness and rough start into something beautiful.
As I come to the end of the post I want to encourage you to be expectant for what God has in store for you. No matter how rough your start has been know that God has something better for you.
Don’t allow the enemy to lie to you that things will never change because it’s a lie. You can be expectant for things to change because God is the One who is orchestrating things in your life. Put all of your hope in Him. Trust Him with your life!
No matter how bad you have messed up know that His plan for your life is still on.
He has so much in store for you.
He is so much bigger than the mistakes you have made.
I think about Moses who messed up. Instead of speaking to the rock he struck it three times and because of his disobedience he never went with the Israelites into the promise land. And that’s where we all stop. But there is more to Moses story. It didn’t finish there.
“About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.”
Luke 9: 28-31 NLT
Moses appeared with Elijah to talk to Jesus about what He was about to do in Jerusalem. I don’t think its a mistake that Moses was one of the men speaking to Jesus. God had a bigger plan for his life than he even could imagine.
That encouraged me a lot today.
No matter how bad we have messed up, it’s comforting to know that God is not finished with us. The mistakes we make don’t determine what God’s plan for our lives will be. God in His mercy and grace gives us a second chance. He extends grace and mercy to us.
So as I come to the end of the post I want to encourage you with the truth that God is not finished with you. Be expectant for Him to move in your life. Be expectant for Him to do some incredible things in your life because He loves you and cares for you.
“And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son,and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.”
2 Samuel 12:24 KJV
In David’s darkest time , in the midst of the monumental mess he made, God turned that situation around into something beautiful.
Solomon came out of that mess and the Word says God loved him.
I always think to myself, why didn’t God do something through Abigail who was an amazing woman. There was no drama there but I think it’s for a good reason. The reason I think is because God wanted to show how powerful He is.
The enemy had been victorious over David in the case of Bathsheba and Uriah. There was no doubt about that and I believe it was the devil’s end goal to stop David’s purpose. But God in His power went into that mess and turned it into victory so the defeat could be turned into triumph and God would get the glory, not the devil.
The enemy will not have the last say in your life friend. He would like you to believe so but it’s not true. God has the last say and as you are in a dark place right now know that God will turn your ugly story into a beautiful one. That’s how much He loves you.
And it’s not about what you can do, your strength, how intelligent you are etc.
It’s about God’s amazing grace, His love, His mercy towards us, His strength! The devil is totally powerless against all of that.
I am also reminded of Peter who also made a huge mistake.
“Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter – before the rooster crows tomorrow morning,you will deny three times that you know me.”
John 13:38 NLT
Peter denied Jesus and if you are thinking of an ugly story that just about tops it. But once again his ugly story was turned into a beautiful one. The devil did not have the last say in Peter’s story. He thought he did but once again he was very wrong and he is wrong about your life. And we see the same pattern in Peter’s life.
Peter’s story was changed because of God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness. Jesus knew Peter would deny him.
“But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repentedand turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
Luke 22:32 NLT
So no matter how bad it seems know that God turns your ugly stories into beautiful ones.
We must not listen to the devil’s lies. He is going to try everything he can to get you to focus on the ugly. He is going to use that to bring in shame, condemnation and guilt. He is going to make you feel unworthy of being used and loved by God. He will try to isolate you so he can take you out. But it’s a lie.
God loves you and forgiveness is available to you. All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and receive the grace He freely offers you.
So as I close remember that your story is not even close to finishing. He is turning your ugly into something beautiful.
This is the last post in this two part series I have been doing.
Last week I spoke to the seasoned people and if you want to know what “seasoned” means I encourage you to go back and read last weeks post.
Last week I talked about how we really don’t have an expiry date. In fact the only expiry date we have is when we die. Everything before that is open season.
I also talked about how God can you use anyone no matter how young or old you are. Don’t let your age limit you.
Today I want to talk to the young people.
God wants to use you and He doesn’t care how old you are. This is the time to ignite that fire for him. It’s time to pursue Him with all that you have. Look at what happened to the boy with the few fish and loaves. Jesus used that little boy and look at David, Jonathan, Mary and so many other young people.
Even though there is a lot to do at school and life make sure you are putting God first.
Get rid of the distractions that can so easily hinder you from achieving what God has called you to do.
Parents, make sure you are speaking to your little ones about the great plans God has for them. Make sure they grow up knowing that they are not a cog in a huge machine but that God created them on a purpose to do amazing things. Teach them that God can use them at the age they are now.
Proverbs 22 verse 6 says,
Direct your children onto the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it.” NLT
As I close I want to say one more thing to the seasoned readers.
Last week I spoke about how Caleb went to Joshua and asked for his mountain at the age of 85 years of age. Age was just a number to him. But there is something else in that story I want to show you.
“Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, amd Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him.”
Joshua 14: 6 NIV
I will stop there. When Caleb went before Joshua to ask for his mountain, he didn’t go alone. He went the rest of the tribe of Judah. He managed to pass on his faith to the people he was leading. They too had faith and that is why they went with Caleb.
We all have something to pass on to the next generation. The experiences you have gone through and the lessons you have learned are for a reason. God has put so much in you. Not just to use to accomplish what He has called you to do but to pass on to, to the next generation. There is a whole generation that needs mentors, that need men and women of God to love on them and show them the way. Will you be that person to step up to the plate?
As I end remember that God can use anyone no matter how young or seasoned they are.
Do you really understand the potential you have stored up in you?
Do you understand the amazing things that God has in store for you?
Because God created us He is the only One who has the full picture I believe. He is the one who sees everything and He knows what we are going to accomplish. So our job is to stop defining ourselves by the things we can’t see yet.
You didn’t create you so you need to be very careful with how you speak to yourself about what you can do and about the things that are in store for you. And you also need to be careful of the information that comes your way from other people. Because people will always have something to say about what you can and can’t do.
I think of Gideon who instead of agreeing with what the angel of the Lord told him he gave excuses as to why he was not qualified to do God’s work. And he got those opinions or ideas from the people around him. He grew up in an environment where he was constantly being told he was the least.
Jesus had this same problem. There were people very close to him who didn’t believe in him.
“You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world! For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.”
John 7:4 NLT
If Jesus had people that didn’t believe in him what more of you and me?
So remember that you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle and it’s okay. Press into the Lord. Spend time with him and he will reveal what He has called you to do.
I don’t know about you but I feel inadequate often when it comes to God’s purposes for my life. I look at the things He is leading me into and I am like, how am I going to do this Lord? And with that comes the insecurities. Thoughts like,
I am not worthy
I am not qualified
Who am I to do this?
Where do I even start?
And so many more like thoughts ravage my mind.
Recently I was feeling very insecure but God reminded me of a few things that I want to encourage you with if you are facing the same feelings of insecurity.
God’s purpose for your life will always be infinitely greater than your current abilities and strengths
He knows very well that you are not able to accomplish His purpose in your own strength.
He is very in tune with your weaknesses and failings but in His grace and mercy He has still chosen you!
He wants you to trust Him wholeheartedly every step of the way because that’s the only way you can accomplish what He has called you to.
Another thing I realized is that the devil wants you to focus on your weaknesses, and sins so that you can disqualify yourself from God’s calling. Remember Moses.
When God called him, what did he do? Instead of saying yes Lord, he started giving excuses why he wasn’t the right candidate. Excuse after excuse he gave until he pleaded,
“But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else”
The answer to feeling overwhelmed and out of your depth is not digging in and going at it alone in your own strength but it’s diving deeper into God and seeking His strength and wisdom.
Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. You are enough because God calls you His son and daughter. He chose you not because you were strong enough, clever enough, rich enough, born in the right neighborhood, or because you went to the right school. It’s because He loved you and extended grace to you.
Whatever you do, don’t talk yourself out of his purpose. Take your insecurities to Him and drop them at His feet. Unpack every burden you feel and don’t hold anything back.
The Lord has amazing things planned for you so trust Him every step of the way.
There will be times when you are met with dead ends, closed doors and walls but you need to remember this simple truth,
God makes a way when there seems to be no way.
Think about the Israelites when they left Egypt. They got to the Red Sea and were resting there when suddenly they saw the Egyptian army marching towards them. In front of them was the Red Sea and behind them were the Egyptians. They were trapped. But God made a way for them through the Red Sea. They experienced breakthrough in the most unexpected way.
You may be in a tough situation and it seems like you are trapped with no way out but I want to remind you that there is a way even if you can’t see one because God is with you. He will make a way for you in the most unexpected way.
Before I move on I do want to make something clear. There are some dead ends and closed doors that are God-ordained and you need to be able to discern them. You need to ask God for wisdom and you need to ask Him if He has closed a particular door but that’s not what I am talking about in this post.
What I want to encourage you with today is that God will open closed doors and dead ends that are stopping you from moving forward in His purpose. He will make a way for you where the enemy has barricaded.
Don’t give up and lose heart when there seems to be now way instead trust God to make a way for you.