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By Grant Everly
This past Sunday at iMPACT we talked about how through Christ we are not defined by our failures. In particular, we looked at God’s patience in the life of Paul.
I love Paul’s story because all of us, to one extent or another, can identify with it. To varying degrees all of us have been lost and have ugly pasts, and what strikes me to be particularly amazing about Paul’s story is God’s overwhelming patience. God did not give up on Paul when he rejected the Messiah nor when he rejected Christ’s followers. Instead, God remained patient with Paul, ultimately working out all of Paul’s past failures for eternal successes.
This truth is one I come back to continually when life becomes rough. In seasons of grief, disappointment, pain, it’s difficult to trust in God’s sovereignty and truly recognize that he will work all things for our good. And what makes things even more difficult is the fact that it’s usually not until far after a difficult event happens that we are able to see what it was that God was protecting us from, teaching us or driving us toward for our own betterment. Sometimes seeing the fruits of God’s sovereignty doesn’t occur in this life. So when we are given a window into God’s sovereign reasoning, we should consider it a true gift of God’s grace.
Similar to Paul, God’s finished product, His masterful creation from seasons of hardship, is worth the failures and struggles it took to be created. Think of what would’ve happened if Paul decided to quit when he became blind. What if Paul had doubted his role in God’s kingdom after his well-known history of persecuting it? Paul’s journey to being purified and sanctified was difficult and unenjoyable, but the finished product was quite beautiful and awe-worthy. So it is, and can be, with us and all of life’s struggles, times of doubt and times of grieving; our past failures and present sufferings can, and will, if we allow them to be, eternal successes.
Grant Everly is a senior at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.