[God] will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning.
—Isaiah 61:3 NLT
So far this week we have learned that our mistakes are inevitable, but they are also forgivable. That should be enough, but there’s even greater news: our mistakes are redeemable.
If God’s grace simply means we don’t go to hell when we die, that would be a pretty good deal. Even if your affair cost you your marriage, even if your bad financial decision resulted in bankruptcy, or even if the crime you committed meant life imprisonment, if you knew that because of God’s forgiveness you would spend eternity in heaven rather than hell, wouldn’t you thank God for that?
But God doesn’t stop just with His forgiveness. God goes one step further and offers to redeem your mistakes. He is willing to take the worst mistakes you have made and still use them for your good and His glory.
If you have a hard time believing that God can forgive you and still use you, then consider this:
- Abraham was an idol worshipper who had sex with his handmaid and left his wife in the harem of another man to save his own skin. Yet the Bible calls Abraham a friend of God (James 2:23).
- One night in a drunken romp, Noah humiliated himself before his own sons. Yet the Bible says Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8).
- Rahab was a notorious prostitute, yet God used her to save a nation. And Rahab is listed as one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31).
- The apostle Paul persecuted, tortured, and murdered Christians. Yet God not only forgave him but transformed him into the greatest apologist for the Christian faith in history.
God is willing not only to forgive you of your mistake, but He will also redeem your mistake, to use it for your good and for His glory. That’s what redemption is all about.
I want you to do something as we close our study this week. Raise your right hand and place it over your heart. Do you feel anything there? Hopefully you feel a heartbeat. That heartbeat signifies God’s grace. The fact that God didn’t strike you dead the moment you made that mistake is a sign of His grace. God has given you time not only to receive His forgiveness but also to recover from your mistake. Your pulse is your greatest plus, as somebody once said.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Curtain Doesn’t Come Down When You Mess Up” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.