I want to share a few thoughts with you. You are not the culmination of the mistakes you’ve made in your life. You are loved with an everlasting love. Even if you find yourself in deep despair you cannot be separated from the love of Christ. No matter how low you go spiritually, God is with you. Even when you’re gas tank of faith is approaching empty, God can still work in your life. God loves you. Take a deep breath. Take time to absorb the verses below. Let me share with you about my own life. Maybe you can relate in one way or another.
2 Corinthians 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I am often strangled by my past sins and mistakes. I struggled with alcoholism many years of my life, beginning when I was 15 years old. In 1989 I was introduced to the Bible and shown what it really means to be a Christian. My life changed dramatically and for the first time I really felt fulfilled. As a result, I was able to stay sober for about seven years. It was during the tail end of those seven years that I became very disillusioned about the loving nature of God , and because I didn’t talk to anyone about it, I got bitter. As a result, I became a legalistic Christian, got tired of “working” so hard, was deeply depressed, and made a decision one night to drink a glass of wine to calm my nerves. That one glass of wine turned into almost 15 more years of daily drinking.
In October 2010, I joined a support group and didn’t take another drink for a few years and was sober when this accident occurred. I am so thankful I wasn’t drinking alcohol when my neck was broken. I can’t imagine the guilt I would be feeling had this happened while I was in a drunken stupor. Yet how ironic that nothing catastrophic happened to me as a drunk, but as a person in sobriety I faint in my kitchen and break my neck! (Read into it what you want, but I know scripturally speaking it has a good purpose, as laid out in Romans 8:28.)
As you can imagine, I have plenty of reasons to be filled with guilt over my past. I pray to God consistently to release me from the shame in my heart and mind. I ask him to fill me with the promises laid out in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and other verses. It is with these persistent widow prayers (see Luke 18:1-8) and help from trusted friends that allow me to persevere. And according to Romans 5, perseverance builds character and character brings hope. Because of my persevering prayers, God is changing me in a powerful way!
Romans 5: 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
The verses below are a reminder of what I am not equipped to do, but what God is equipped to do. I am reminded that he is able, powerful and willing.
Psalm 103: 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
Romans 8: 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Isaiah 43:1“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
1 Corinthians, 1: 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again.
God has delivered me from the sins of my past life, and will continue to do so in this current life. I’ve been released from my prison cell and set free.