– Phillips Brooks
Devotional:3 Ways Jesus Turns Your Past Pain into the Cornerstone of a Great Future
Jesus was obviously talking about Himself when He said that the stone rejected by the builders became the cornerstone. The Pharisees and religious establishment of his time rejected Him but Jesus became the Rock of the church which will persist to the end of time. Interestingly enough, Jesus’ teaching about the rejected stone also applies to you. Your past pain, loss, shame, guilt, and humiliation, far from being sources of bitterness and continuing pain can transformed into a great future. How? Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of the many ways having a relationship with our Savior can turn a past you’d rather forget into a great bright future.
Acknowledge Your Past Sins and Recognize Your Need of a Savior
All of us Christians have the Holy Spirit in us. He is constantly reminding us of our sin. Acknowledge that twinge of guilt and conviction you, and see that it is a call to action. The Spirit is convicting you. Are you going to continue to numb your heart against this convicting call by blaming others, justifying your past sins, or kicking the can down the road? Or are you going to look the conviction straight in the eye and feel it sear into your soul? Let that twinge of conscience build into a raging fire that burns away all the excuses and the walls of your comfort zone. Let the Spirit’s conviction lead you to recognize that you need Jesus to save you from your past sins.
Jesus’ Peace Highlight the Emptiness of Your Past Joys
People sin because sin has a payoff. When you steal, cheat, or lie, there’s a payoff. The payoff is often immediate. Sadly, the rush doesn’t last and you sin and sin again to recapture that rush. When you turn to Jesus and He covers your past sins with His blood and bathes you in his love and peace, you feel a sense of calm and a sense of possibility. Everything is possible once again. Everything looks and feels new.
You can now look back at your past and you finally see it for what it is. Instead of experiencing the thrill of sin’s payoffs, you only see the emptiness and pain it leads to. What changed? You have Jesus’ love to compare sin’s payoffs to. Those payoffs don’t even come close.
Once You Experience the Joy of Jesus’ Company Everything Else Loses Appeal
However intense the pleasure of your sinful past may be, nothing can compare to the sense of wholeness, meaning, purpose, and inner peace you get when you abide in Christ. The biggest proof of this is when the same stuff that used to throw you off no longer has the same effect. Instead of rage or lust, you feel peace and contentment.
God laid out his law in the ten commandments not to burden you or dictate to you but to liberate you. All of your past sins’ pleasures are really traps. They enslave you. They don’t deliver real freedom. By abiding in Christ, He will convert your past from something you’d rather run away from into a gateway into a new life. After all, it is very hard to appreciate heaven when you haven’t experienced a personal hell. Are you willing to let Jesus take you by the hand and convert your past’s pain and emptiness?