Sis, do you need encouragement, today? Gary Habermas has some for you! In a recent message delivered by Dr. Gary Habermas to the Evangelical Philosophical Society, he provided 3 examples of how God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes:
Peter, James, and Paul
Peter, a Disciple of Jesus, readily denied Jesus 3 times after Jesus’s arrest. James, the 1/2 brother of Jesus, had grown-up in the same home with Jesus but rejected Jesus’s claims of Deity as well as thought Jesus to be “out of his mind” when teaching his disciples (Mark 3). And then there was Paul. Paul, formerly Saul, was responsible for the deaths of numerous Christians…one of those being Stephen. Luke chronicles Saul’s participation in the stoning death of Stephen, as the synagogue members threw their garments at Saul’s feet (Acts 7). Peter, James, and Paul were sinners just as we are…and yet God had a plan! And that plan involved Himself!
Despite their heartbreaking mistakes and infamous failures, all three men were gifted the opportunity to see the risen Jesus! They were saved not by their works, but by grace through faith in Christ! And this should be an immense encouragement to all of us! Friends, God works to accomplish His purposes in spite of our quirks, failures, and current propensities. The good He accomplishes is through His strength, not our own. As Dr. Habermas tenderly asserts: “God uses wounded lives” for purposes beyond what we could imagine. Let that sink in! God, in His wisdom and mercy, works through our suffering and hardships for the Kingdom! This type of faithfulness is not of this world! Sister, no matter how much the remorse of past mistakes may bring you low, God is with you and will use it for good,…according to His purposes. There is everlasting hope from God for you and I. Every…single…day. And it all comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus. His Grace is enough.
“But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8