In this last post, I was ruminating on the fact that we are not in heaven yet—and that pain, trial, and desperation are not necessarily proof of our sin or failure.
Thinking on this, I thought of another deep truth: Not only will we experience pain in this sin-filled, broken world; but Christ can use even the most broken of situations to bring about His glory.
I thought of this as I was listening to a sermon by the late pastor Chuck Smith, of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. He brought up the story of Esther, the Biblical account of a Hebrew woman becoming queen of a pagan nation, saving the exiled Israelites from genocide. God had elevated Esther through the sinful actions of King Xerxes I, the removal of Queen Vashti from queenship, and many other somewhat human, sinful details. Reading Esther 1, it becomes clear that King Xerxes I is not a Godly man whatsoever, and the land in which they live is a difficult land to be Godly in.
Yet, it is on this stage that Christ brings Esther much favor in King Xerxes I’s eyes—all “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). God worked even through human sin and selfishness to preserve His People—and He does the same thing today.
This is in no way a reason to increase in sinning. In the words of Paul the Apostle, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein” (Romans 6:1-2, KJV). It is just to say that Christ is Sovereign over the details of our lives, and is our Redeemer, turning the worst of situations into the ultimate good.
Many of you may need to hear this, today. Do you feel disqualified for being used by God because of your past and present struggles with sin? Are you looking at your own desperate situation, staring at empty hands and wondering how anything could be brought out of such a difficult place? Even worse, do you feel as though your lack of belief in naming and claiming things, as is done in the “Prosperity Gospel,” is the reason for your pain?
Let this comfort and encourage you today, friend: 1) You are not in heaven yet, and the trials of this life are promised; 2) God is using even the most broken parts of your life to bring about your good and His glory; and 3) He has promised you His near Presence and Help within even the wildest of storms. He Loves you, and is determined to finish what He started in you (Philippians 1:6)!
Do you know Jesus?
As cliche as it sounds, God knew you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Jesus has created you wonderfully (Psalm 139:14), and has a plan for your life that only you can live out! To learn more about this Jesus and His plan for your life, click here.
Please pray for…
- The Chibok girls, and their soon release.
- Leah Sharibu’s soon release.
- The Nigerian military.
- All those who feel as if Christ could never accept or save them because of their sin.
- Those who are backslidden, that they would come to know Christ.