Friday, December 15, 2023

Overcoming Guilt with Overwhelming Grace

By: Lauren Thomas 

No matter how big your guilt is, it is never too big. 

If anyone could say that statement with certainty, it is Paul. Let me encourage you with his personal experience. He shared about it in his letter to the church at Galatia:


13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me

Galatians 1:13-16a


Did you catch this little line? “But...[God] set me apart before I was born.” God chose Paul before his birth, knowing full well that before Paul would become an instrument for His glory, Paul would persecute and even kill Jewish Christ-followers. Paul committed atrocities against believers in Christ! But God was not surprised by Paul’s sin. And in spite of Paul’s sin – in advance of Paul’s sin – God still chose Paul to do incredible things for the Kingdom of God. That is because God's grace is enough, more than enough! 


8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

2 Corinthians 12:8-9a (ESV)


Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by our past sins. But God’s grace is big enough to overcome whatever we feel guilty about. He isn’t surprised by our sin. And in spite of our sin, He has good plans and good works prepared for us. 


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)


Even if you struggle with overwhelming feelings of guilt, God’s grace is strong enough to overcome those feelings. His grace is sufficient for whatever sin you bring him. His grace is a gift he offers you. And He has prepared good works in advance for you! Yes, you!


So, like Paul, no matter your past, no matter the size of your guilt, God’s grace is bigger. And in spite of, and in advance of your sin, He has prepared good works for even you!



How does Paul’s testimony encourage and inspire you? 

God doesn’t save you because of your good works, but He has good works prepared for you to do. In light of your own sin and guilt, how does this impact you?

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