Sometimes when we make a mistake, we punish ourselves for it. We become angry with ourselves and repeat an inner mantra that we’re stupid. We wonder how God could love us when we keep doing wrong. Sometimes it keeps us from witnessing to others because we feel like such a hypocrite. Sometimes it keeps us from going to church because we don’t feel like we’re worthy.
But Jesus knew you would sin. He even knew what exact sins you would commit.
Let’s look at Peter as an example. Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples who professed loyalty. Peter said he would always stand by Jesus, but Jesus told Peter that before the rooster crowed, Peter would deny Him not once, not twice, but three times (Matt. 26:33-34).
And Peter did exactly that.
When Peter realized what he had done, he wept (Matt. 26:75). That’s not surprising — many of us have done the same. When we love Jesus, when we seek to follow Him, of course, it’ll grieve us when we mess up. And the thing is, we WILL mess up. But all is not lost. Christ doesn’t throw us away. He doesn’t push us aside and decide to never bother with us again.
When the women came to find an empty tomb and the angel spoke to them, he mentioned Peter by name (16:7). And according to Luke 24:34, Jesus appeared to Peter after His resurrection. That sounds a lot like forgiveness to me.
God was still able to use Peter. He’s able to use anyone. But best of all He chose to use Peter. He chose to love Peter. He chose to send His Son to die for Peter.
And He loves you. He chose to send His Son for you.
When Christ was hanging on the cross, He died for all the world’s sins (1 John 2:2). He knew every sin you would ever commit before you were even born. But He died anyway. He knew every time you would deny Him, whether by word or action. But He died anyway. He knew every time you’d backslide, every mistake you’d make, every time you would doubt Him. But He died anyway.
So don’t let guilt rob you of the joy of your salvation. Don’t let it keep you from serving God. The fact is that none of us are worthy of God’s love and forgiveness, but He gives it to us anyway. So, the next time you mess up, remember that God isn’t surprised by your failure. In fact, He loves you despite it.
And that love is the greatest gift of all.
This is an updated version of a post originally published on justjenniferpurcell.com.
Featured Image by Erol Ahmed