You Don't Know, but God Does

Let me begin this post with an apology.
 My life has been inconsistent, I have been dumb, and I may have caused people to doubt the goodness of the God that I love because of my hypocrisy.
But, please, allow my hypocrisy to prove the generosity, the patience, and the forgiveness of the God that I so proudly love.

Wouldn't you expect God to punish those who have lived as hypocrites for their life choices?
Instead, He is consistently forgiving and loving towards them.
He understands their weaknesses because Jesus once lived on Earth and faced every single temptation known to man (John 16:33).

"God has given all people over to their stubborn ways so that he can show mercy to all."
Romans 11:32 reveals how God has allowed humans to be free to make mistakes. The mistakes they make are their fault, however, they have the choice to be humble and ask God for forgiveness.
 Your hypocrisy is totally temporary as long as you are aware of God's unending love and forgiveness that is allowing you to be freed from your past (Isaiah 43:18-19).
God redeems those who make mistakes and live as hypocrites because He knows their hearts. 

For example, the apostle Paul was a torturer, a murder, and violent blasphemer, but through his great faith he was completely transformed. 
Not only did he become a Christian, but he became one of the greatest missionaries, he changed the hearts of an entire city, and wrote a large part of the New Testament. 
He did all of this in a time period that Christians were being robbed, beaten, and even fed to lions.
By fighting the temptation to withdraw and privatize his faith, Paul became a great leader that people continue to look to for encouragement. 
You can read about the life of Paul in Acts 9:1-31.

The world has become increasingly unforgiving towards hypocrites as the culture continues to shift.
The hostility in society can lead to Christians withdrawing and privatizing their faith and beliefs. 
However, God did not give us timid spirits that turn inward when the world around us disagrees with our beliefs (2 Timothy 1:7).
God intended for Christians to be courageous; showing integrity, devotion, and evangelism. 
How can Christians show courage when they are viewed as not compassionate, not loving, and not gracious, because today's culture views disagreeing as hate? 
How can Christians be courageous when it can be hard to find friends who stand with them?

Real courage comes when you believe that something is more significant than your fear. 
Having courage is when you trust God and have so much faith that, despite feeling anxiety, you confront the fear head on with boldness and defend what you believe in. 
You have to believe that what you're defending is much greater than your fears for your courage to be lasting and true.

Martin Luther King, Jr. experienced this kind of courage when he turned to prayer during the Civil Rights Movement. His home was bombed while he was away on January 30, 1956. 
He said, "it seems as though I heard an inner voice saying 'stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth, God will be at your side forever.' Almost at once my fears began to pass from me. The outer situations remained the same, but God had given me inner calm. Three nights later, our home was bombed. Strangely enough, I accepted the word of the bombing calmly. My experience with God had given me new strength and trust. I know now that God is able to give us the interior resources to face the storms of life."

When you are standing up for something you believe in, do not let your past cause you to hesitate.
Do not let the judgment and guilt from your hypocrisy prevent you from sharing God and His love.
 Do not let your fears hinder your ability to bring glory to God. 
He has a beautiful plan for you that only He knows.
Your plan may include mistakes, unhealthy habits, and hurtful actions towards others.
These things only add to the power of your testimony.
God has redeemed you, and He will continue redeeming you when you ask for forgiveness of your sins.
He has, and always will, put back together what is broken for His glory.

God has created you to be different from everyone else, He has made you face specific trials, He has put you in a special place, and He has blessed you with a unique purpose so that you may bring light to that place.
You may have struggled with a distinct sin or trial so that one day you could lead someone with the same struggle out of that place.
When your sins are forgiven because of your faith, you find peace (Luke 7:50). Peace attracts sinners to a Christian because sinners have no peace. This allows you to serve God better and lead more people to God through the story of your redemption.
Stand strong in your faith when you are unsure about the plan that God has for you, and allow the Lord to work in those around you through your individuality.

God has never abandoned you or forgotten you. Trust in Him.
There are wonderful things in your future.
You may not know what those things are, but have courage because God does. 

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths tracing out!
"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"
"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?"
For from him and through him and for him are all things,
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 11:33-36

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