If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:6-10
Have you ever made a mistake? Done something you’ve regretted? We all have. How do they make you feel? I’ll be the first to admit that I have made plenty of mistakes, and that there are some that I still struggle with. I know mine have made me feel so weak, and they’ve made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. How could God possibly use me after I did that? I’d feel ashamed, useless, and I’d often feel far away from God.
You know what that distance is? That is what happens when we doubt what God is capable of. By thinking that God couldn’t use us after we mess up, we are claiming that He is not strong enough to overcome our mistakes. Why do we doubt His faithfulness when we don’t need to?
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I do. I will not forsake them.”
Focusing on the shame and the distance it seems to create is letting the enemy mess with your mind to convince you that he’s won and that God has given up on you, when clearly that is not the case. Lingering on that feeling of weakness opens the door to the enemy’s attacks because you’re saying you can’t fight anymore.
Well, that’s not the case, is it? No, you still have plenty of fight left. As long as you have breath, you can fight. How? Because God is a great and powerful God, and He never leaves you. With His help, you can do anything in His will.
“For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
When you feel weak, when you mess up, yeah, you’ll feel put out and a bit useless at first, but that’s when you need to cling closer to God because He is the only one who can make you strong. He has a purpose for you. You know what He does with your weaknesses? Remember what 2 Corinthians 12:9 says:
Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
When you are weak, He is still using you. If you lean on Him, He will help you use those experiences to help others – either by helping those have been through or are currently going through similar situations, or by helping those who haven’t avoid making the same mistakes. There is no predicting what God will do through you if you let Him take control.
Think about all those times you’ve questioned whether God could use you after you messed up. Guess what? He can, He is, and He always will. There will never be a time that you are too broken for God to use you. You will never make too many mistakes to be in God’s hands. No matter how many times you stumble and fall, He will take you back as soon as you turn back to Him. His path is perfect, and His love is never failing.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is nothing about you that God cannot use for His glory. You just have to listen to Him and draw closer to Him at all times.
Past mistakes don’t have to mean weakness.
He can use them and, through your testimony,
make them strengths.
– With love,