God has always been in the business of taking what's broken and making it beautiful, restorative, and wholly unique. Anything touched by God instantly becomes better—something far greater than we could ever imagine. This is true for your story, too.
Consider how God has guided your every step. While you may have endured hardships too painful to speak of, or made decisions you're not proud of, He is continually transforming these missteps into something for His glory.
For the month of September, we're diving into this top of Falling Up, of God using our brokenness for a greater purpose. We'll be sharing stories that prove failure and human error are not the end of the story, it's not completely devastating. Because we serve a God who knows our every move—past, present, and future—and transforms our actions for His purpose, we know everything will work out.
Here's a glimpse into one of my favorite stories in the Bible, the story of Paul, and how God takes what's broken and sinful and uses it as a means to further the Gospel.
From Persecutor to Martyr
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” ~ Acts 9:3-6
Perhaps one of the most stunning character transformations seen in the Bible is that of Paul. Yes, that Paul. The one who would later spearhead the early church movement in the book of Acts and would go on to become a fearsome advocate and martyr for Christ.
Paul was not always so noble, so strong in the faith. Actually, he was quite the opposite. As we can read from Acts 8:3, "But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison." He mercilessly persecuted the church, and would go so far as to kill Christians for their dedication to Jesus.
Of course, God had other plans.
Saul was still on a murderous tirade, making his way to Damascus. It is in this infamous moment that Saul would embark a deeply spiritual inward journey, just as he was embarking on a physical journey, too. God met him on this road, revealing His terrifying power. Saul was converted that day. He was blinded, but his sight was later restored. Jesus humbled him, broke him.
A Story of Renewal & Hope
At once Saul began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. ~ Acts 9:20-22
While our hearts may be full of deceit and envy and evil, God is good. Like Saul, you're never too far removed for God to chase after you and wash your sins clean. In this way, this is a story of profound hope.
Jesus will stop at nothing to bring us back to Him.
Saul had to be broken in order to be completely renewed. The man who hated Christians and hunted them would later write in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
Imagine Saul's fear in the moment of God confronting him, of blinding him! You can envision just how terrified Saul was. In any moment of adversity, the first thing we want is a way out. We're hardwired to escape any sort of pain or discomfort. But as we can see here, it's those seasons of pain that bring our greatest enlightenment, our most significant breakthroughs.
Consider what season of adversity you're in right now. Ask God to grant you a heavenly perspective. Ask what it is He's trying to reveal to you.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28
- No matter how far you've strayed from God's plan, there is always space for revival, for God to enter and make all things new.
- Consider how Paul was such a feared figure for many. He persecuted Christians for years. This is a reminder to pray for your enemies, that their hearts may be opened to Christ, and that they too may receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior—just like Paul.
- Never underestimate God's redemptive powers for your life!
A Very Sacred, Fallish Reminder
With the changing of the leaves and the dawn of a new season comes new opportunities to get to know Jesus a little bit more and really grow in your faith. Not only do our Christian t-shirts serve as adorable reminders of God's love, but they're seasonal, too! Our team has been hard at work creating our newest fall shirts—sure to be a new September favorite.