She is weighed down by guilt, her memory overloaded with past regrets. She cannot break free from the struggles, despite her great desire to be free from them. To be free. As I sit and talk with her, I try to tell her that we’re not any different, just two sinners in desperate need of a Savior. “But you haven’t done what I have done,” she replies. What do you tell a hopeless soul?
There is hope.
There is hope for you, dear troubled one, but it is not found in any place where you are looking. The kind of hope you’re looking for cannot be found in food, alcohol, sex, the fleeting beauty of youth. It is not found in human relationships, as wonderful as they are. The only hope that can save you from the guilt of the past and give you a bright, unending future is Jesus Christ. He is the Hope of the nations, and He is the only One who can rescue souls. As Jesus Himself said in John chapter 8, verse 36: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” He is the One who fills you with hope, and sets you free, beloved one.
She is a Mary Magdalene of sorts (aren’t we all?), longing to be found worthy and finding the exact opposite to be true.
Do not lose hope, beloved one.
What a good place to be in, when we recognize our unworthiness before the righteous God of the earth! It is only as we recognize the perfection of God and see ourselves in light of Who He is that we see the beauty of Christ. I remember as a young teenager, after having messed up big time, I felt rotten and disgusting. I didn’t think I was worthy to open the Bible and know the God who saved me. And I was right in a sense, for I am never worthy, and there is nothing I can do to make myself so. Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross for my sins and then rose from the grave, He is the One who secured my salvation and made me worthy! He is the One who makes you worthy, dear one.
She thinks she must make up for her past sins, redeem the time. She must make herself clean, and so she tries and tries..and fails. (We all fall into this trap, and we all fail. You are not alone, loved one.)
But there is hope yet, dear.
As we recognize who Christ is and what He has accomplished for us, His grace opens our eyes to see that there is nothing we can ever do to achieve perfection, to be made clean. It is Christ alone who cleanses us from our sin, yes, every disgusting little thing we’ve done or will ever do. And do not get stuck thinking that He cannot save you from the terrible sins you’ve committed, because Jesus Christ is the All-Powerful One, and He has authority and power to forgive you of the worst imaginable offenses. Isn’t He so beautiful? The LORD of all the earth, and He came to rescue you and me. “But by God’s doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,” 1 Corinthians 1:30.
In Christ alone, there is hope.
—————————–“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” -Romans 5:8-11