Do you ever feel you messed up so bad that God must have surely washed his hands of you? This is not a question of losing your salvation or not. Let’s separate being saved from being used for this discussion. I mean feeling that a personal failure, sin or shortcoming means God is not going to use you further.
We all deal with failure. We all fear rejection at one time or another. While reading Psalm 138, I was struck by verse 8. In the NIV it says:
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.”
God began a work in you. It started long before He saved you. You can be sure of this because you would have never come to him unless he first called you (John 6:44). He initiated the action of saving you. He initiated a work in you.
God didn’t just say, “Hey! Let’s do this to [insert your name here] and see what happens.” He began working in you with a purpose. Such purposeful action means action directed towards a specific result, a specific goal. When God began working on you he had an end goal in mind. He planned to save you and to use you in a special way—a way that is specific to the work he is doing in you.
I am not going to fill you with delusions of grandeur, by promising that God wants you to be the next Billy Graham. Neither am I going to tell you that he wants you to be the next Mother Theresa. I have no idea what he wants to accomplish in you specifically. I can tell you though that he intends to save you (1 Timothy 2:4); that he intends to sanctify you (1 Thessalonians 5:23f); and that he intends to equip you to serve him in some capacity (Hebrews 13:20f). What is necessary to bring each of us to salvation differs. What is needed to cleanse us and mature us differs. In the same way, what gifts God equips each of us with, and what he equips each of us to do differ from person to person.
Saying God has started working on you with a purpose or goal in mind means he started with a desire that something come of you. Now ask yourself, “Can God fail?” Of course not! If God can’t fail then he cannot fail to accomplish his purpose in your life. He will accomplish it, surely (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Of course some will respond, “Yes, but what if he doesn’t fail, but instead chooses to simply stop working on me?” They imagine doing something horrendous enough, or failing to do something important enough that God will say, “That is the last straw, I am done with you.” But isn’t that just another form of failure? If God sets the purpose of accomplishing something in your life, then only the completion of that something is success. Since God cannot fail to complete what he sets out to accomplish, neither will he lay aside his purpose for you.
How can you assure yourself of God’s continued working upon you? By looking back at the things he has already done for you. Take some time and list the works God has already accomplished in your life. These will assure you of his continued efforts to make you into the servant he has called you to be.