GOD CAN MAKE YOUR LIFE A THING OF BEAUTY!
Perhaps you’ve made mistakes in the past that bother you in the present. Maybe your life hasn’t been all that you had hoped for. There may be things for which you cannot forgive yourself. There may even be things that seem like insurmountable barriers to God ever being able to work through you. You may be tempted to think: "I’ve messed up things so badly that I’ve ruined my life forever. I know that God has forgiven my sins, but there’s nothing He can do with a life so badly wrecked as mine!"
I want you to know that God is much bigger than anything in your past, your present, or your future. There is absolutely nothing that He cannot overcome. There is absolutely no circumstance that He cannot turn to His glory, no sin He cannot defeat, no habit He cannot break, no problem He cannot overcome. He can take anything you surrender to Him – no matter how awful it may seem – and use it for His glory. He can wipe the slate of your past completely clean and give you a whole new life free from all your yesterdays.
First, you must always remember that God has a plan for your life.
He is working out that plan step-by-step through everything that has happened and is happening to you.
Psalm 139:15-16 says: When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
The Living Bible puts it like this: You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!
In other words, God has been at work in your life since before you were born. Even before you were, He knew all about you. And He knew what He wanted to do with your life. He saw your potential, and He knew what you could be with His help. He has been committed to that possibility every day that you have lived; even when you were not.
Second, you must always remember that God is love!
He never does anything that isn’t loving; and He will never stop loving you, no matter how you sometimes fail to see what He is doing or fail to be fully in step with what He’s trying to do. God loves you with a love that never quits.
In Jeremiah 31:3, God says to the people of Israel: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."
The Lord talks to us the same way. He says to us, "I have always loved you, I love you now, I will always love you. There is nothing you can do – absolutely nothing – that will make me stop loving you. Not now. Not ever!" Even when we don’t FEEL loved, God loves us. Even when we don’t always love Him in return, God loves us. He loves us period! Nothing can change that fact.
In Romans 8:35 Paul asks, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? In Romans 8:38-39, He answers His own question: I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Notice the phrase nor anything else in all creation. I think Paul included that phrase just in case you or I came up with something that we didn’t find in his list that we thought might be able to separate us from Jesus and His love. He adds. "Nope, that won’t do it either!"
Third, you must always remember that nothing happens to us along the way that goes unnoticed by God.
He knows every hardship we face, every problem we struggle with, every mistake we make, every stupid decision we make, every wrong path we choose to follow. And He loves us anyway. He knows all about those things even before they happen, and He loves us still. Sometimes, when we’re rebellious or forgetful, He lets us go our own way for a while; but He’s always there loving us and inviting us to stop wandering and start following again.
In Deuteronomy 31:8, Moses told the children of Israel: The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
When Joshua needed encouragement, God said to him, in Joshua 1:5, As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
When the disciples needed encouragement to reach out to their world once Jesus went back to heaven, Jesus said to them in Matthew 28:19-20: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
God says the very same thing to you: I go before you. I will be with you. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. I am with you always. As someone once said: "God is always there, even when He is silent." Even when things are difficult, God is present. Even when He SEEMS distant, He is right there living in your heart, dwelling at the center of your life. Nothing happens that He does notice. Nothing happens about which He does not care.
Fourth, you always need to remember that God is committed to your good, and is always working for your good.
He takes everything that happens to you – every circumstance of your life – and uses it to bring glory to Himself. His plan for us is that we allow Him to take all the STUFF of life – the good and the bad – and make a testimony out of it: A testimony to His goodness and His grace.
Romans 8:28 says: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. The Living Bible puts it like this: And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.
There may have been a lot of things happen to you that were not good. They may not have been pleasant. They may not hold good memories. In fact, there are probably many things that you would rather forget – even perhaps that you have forgotten, because it’s easier to forget than to remember. Whatever those things are, the important thing is that God is able to take them and transform the end result of them into something that is for your good and His glory. He is able to take STUFF that isn’t good – that will never be good – and make good out of it.
You’ve probably heard the advice that says, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!" That’s awfully hard for us to do sometimes, but God specializes in making lemonade out of the sour and bitter experiences of our lives. We just have to trust Him, and walk with Him, and give Him time to squeeze the lemons.
Fifth, you must always remember that God is committed to you and to His plan for you, and you can trust Him to make it happen in His time.
It may seem that He’s not moving as quickly as you would like, or that He isn’t doing exactly what you think He ought to do, but God is at work! That carries a 100% money back guarantee! God is doing His thing, working out His plan, and all you have to do to see it happen is to keep on trusting.
Jeremiah 29:11 reads: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Count on it. God knows what He is doing, and He knows what He is doing in you. And what He is doing will always result in your spiritual prosperity. There’s hope in your future, since your future is in and with the Lord. Stay committed to that and God will always work our His plans.
The problem is that sometimes we can’t see what God is doing; we can’t figure out where He is going. It’s confusing at times, and it is often frustrating. That’s where faith comes in. Faith is the substance of things we HOPE for. It is the evidence of the things we CANNOT SEE. So we walk with God by faith. Say: "God, I don’t understand what you’re doing, and I can’t see where you’re going, but I know I can trust you to do the right thing. I know I can trust you to be faithful. I know that you always have my good at heart. Therefore, I’m going to go on trusting you, no matter what!"
God is working in your life. He is working out His plan for you. He is using everything that has happened, that is happening, that will happen in your life, to make you what He wants you to be. People may sometimes let you down: God will never let you down! He will take your life, whatever you may have done with it, and He will make it what He wants it to be and use it to His own praise and glory.
Just trust Him and yield yourself to His loving hand at work in you.