If you’re a Christian, I’m sure you’ve spent time feeling so unworthy of Christ’s love for you. You spend time feeling guilty, like a failure, and like you just don’t measure up. While feeling so crummy is quite miserable, just know that it’s very common. When Christ is your standard for life, it’s easy to feel inadequate. During these times, I find it helpful to draw encouragement from the Bible by specifically looking at Bible characters and their stories. The Bible is full of flawed people and God still worked through them. He can work through us too…The Bible is full of flawed people and God still worked through them. He can work through us too... Click To Tweet
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1. Queen Esther
Esther is perhaps my favorite Bible character and story. If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Esther, it’s about how a young, Jewish girl becomes queen and saves her people. Fun fact: it’s the only book of the Bible that doesn’t mention God. God seems absent, quite literally, but Esther’s story is full of His grace and hope.
During her attempt to save her people, Esther asks them to fast and pray fervently for wisdom. For three days Esther and her people fasted before the Lord. They humbled themselves and sacrificed in order to receive wisdom. This is a practice I would do well to do more often. More prayer. More sacrifice. More God.
By the end of the book, you realize that God had a very particular purpose for Esther. He was directing her every step of the way, even though He wasn’t mentioned, and her obedience saved her people. Far too often I feel like I’m searching for what God wants me to do with my life – what is my purpose? – and it helps me to look back on Esther’s story and know that God is directing my steps, whether I realize it or not.
2. King David
David’s story is… dramatic, for lack of a better word. It could easily be a reality TV show – ya know, if Bible characters had those. It’s full of emotional highs and lows – David was on quite the roller coaster. It almost seems as if he’s two different people. He’s known as the “man after God’s own heart” but he also committed adultery with a married women, which resulted in a pregnancy and he later killed the woman’s husband. As weird as it sounds, I’m encouraged by this because it just shows that God is steadfast. We are fickle as a whole – always saying one thing and doing another – but God is ever-present. He is the only One we can truly rely on through all the ups and downs, even the ones we create ourselves.
I’m so encouraged by David’s story because it magnifies God’s grace and mercy. David had committed some severe transgressions, but God was still able to accomplish His purpose through David. It proves that there’s nothing we can do to stop God from pouring His grace and mercy on us. His unconditional love is truly that, no matter the things we may do.
Another reason I’m encouraged by David’s story is because it’s a great example of trusting in God’s plan. David, just a young boy at the time, slayed Goliath. Armed with only a sling and a rock, he was able to do this because he was filled with a confidence that only comes from the Lord. David was sure and resolute because he had faith in God.
Lastly, I’m encouraged by his story by reading through his psalms. His psalms are authentic and cover a wide range of topics. I appreciate David’s transparency. Psalm 13 has helped me through a lot of struggles recently.
Paul’s personal testimony is what I find particularly encouraging. Jesus changed his life in every aspect. Paul went from persecuting Christians to creating disciples. He went from a hardened heart to traveling great distances and enduring imprisonment all for the sake of salvation. Paul allowed the Holy Spirit to completely and fully change his life. This just goes to show that no one is hopeless. God has enough love, mercy, grace, and hope for everyone. For you. For me.
So if I’m having a down day, I reflect on these three Bible characters. I focus on Esther’s strength and bravery, and how God was always there, even if it didn’t seem like it. I think about David’s authenticity and honest self-examination of his own sin. I look to his example of repentance. Finally, I focus on Paul’s transformation and the fact that no one in the history of the universe was ever too lost for God to find them.