Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Repayment Plan

Joel 2:25  I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the 
young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you. 

In ministry I see people who are consumed with the mistakes of their past. They are unable to offer forgiveness to people in their life and incapable of forgiving themselves for things that they have done. It's not that I don't identify with this dilemma or have it conquered. I have tremendous regret for the history of my own sins and the damage it has caused (and continues to inflict in some cases.) It can consume me as I get lost in the missed opportunities with my children, in my marriage, and in ministry. If I'm not careful this can paralyze me with guilt, prevent me from engaging in positive actions in the present, and lead to hopelessness. I feel confident in saying that losing hope is not God's desire for any of us. 

Hope is a powerful gift. It enables us to see past our current circumstances and gain a glimpse of something better. There is great promise in God's hope and the deliverance that it offers for His people. When I speak of a better future blessed by God, it inspires people to see the potential of what could be and not be demolished by what is. 

Perhaps the most attractive part of that hope is God's ability to restore. It's not just that He redeems us, but that He is willing to restore blessings to us that we thought were forfeited as a result of our choices. It's God's way of blessing His children and reveals His intense love for us. It reminds me that God's grace is vast enough to cover my past, present, and future. His hope is the promise of greatness that is beyond our ability to fulfill. 

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