“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:15, 18-19).
Wow. Can anyone else relate to the verses of the day?
Sheesh! This describes me to a tee!
It’s so frustrating. It’s not that I don’t want to do what is right and good. It’s not that I don’t want to stop doing stupid things, dumb things, things that hurt the people I love, hurt the God I love.
And the thing is when I start down this road of self condemnation it’s never ending. I can keep going.
It’s not like this is my first rodeo. If you’re anything like me, we’ve been down this road before. We’ve repented of the very sins we struggle with. We have already been forgiven for the things we are struggling with. And here we are again repenting and confessing the same sins over again. And we can’t help but wonder if God’s as tired of this as we are.
The devil loves to chime in to remind us of that.
But, here’s the thing. Here’s what you and I must remember.
OUR PAST DOES NOT DISQUALIFY US. OUR PAST PREPARES US.
God is the ultimate redeemer. There is no sin, no past, nothing that God cannot redeem. God will use even our past mistakes and failures for his glory. God will use even our past mistakes and failures to redeem us and to encourage others.
That’s why this section ends with the promise “For 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” (Romans 8:38-39).
Because of Jesus, because of our Redeemer, our past no longer disqualifies us. Our past prepares us for God’s kingdom ministry!