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God Can Use Your Brokenness

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I’ll never forget how I felt as I sat in the congregation that day. I was a high school student listening to a sermon. The pastor was talking about dating God’s way and living a life of purity. I had just finished leading our high school ministry in praise and worship, and as I sat there during the message, I couldn’t help but feel that God had someone better for that job than me. I was flawed, and while changing and trying to walk in purity, I felt the weight of bad decisions I had made throughout high school. I thought my past mistakes were too big for God to use me to do something for His kingdom. In many ways, I felt disqualified and incapable of being used by God.

I later learned that God wasn’t after a laundry list of mistakes I had made in my past. He was after my heart. He wanted to restore me, make me whole, and then use me through my weakness to shine His light. God specializes in using things that seem broken or unworthy. He has a track record of taking the least-likely candidates and calling them into His ministry. We know that by reading Scripture.

Paul knew what it was like to feel unworthy more than most. He often called himself “the worst of them all [sinners]” (1 Timothy 1:15). Before the Apostle Paul’s ministry preaching the Gospel, he was named Saul and was widely known for murdering Christ's followers. Once God encountered Saul and changed his name to Paul, He gave him a new purpose. God would use Paul to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and to lead many to Christ. God chose him despite all his past sins.

Paul says in Ephesians 3:

Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. (vv. 8-9)

Paul wasn’t shy about proclaiming that he was flawed. He knew his past was messy but always declared God’s grace extraordinary. He also wasn’t shy about boasting about his weakness either. He knew it was through his weakness that Christ’s strength was magnified (2 Corinthians 12:9). Through all his mistakes, God used him powerfully to advance the early church. Paul would go on to write 13 out of 27 books in the New Testament. Wow, talk about how God took a broken situation and turned it into something He used to advance His kingdom!

I can’t help but wonder how many times I’ve “disqualified” myself from being used by God because I think I’m unworthy. I look back on my high school years and realize that God’s grace found me in my sin and called me to repentance. No matter the sin and the pit we feel we have dug ourselves into in our past, God specializes in using those situations. He wants to heal us and then use us for His glory.

Today, if you feel disqualified from being used by God, remind yourself of the Apostle Paul. Even when we feel “least deserving,” God’s love, through Christ Jesus, always speaks a different word. He wants to use you today to advance His kingdom on and throughout this earth. He wants to partner with you to lead others into His grace. Will you answer the call, just as Paul did, for the glory of God?


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Marissa Nordlum

Since 2021, Marissa Nordlum has been CBN's email analyst and devotional writer. She has a passion for the local church and loves seeing creative writing edified in music and written content. Her background is in church ministry, where she served as a youth pastor and worship leader. She lives with her husband and their three sons in Arizona.

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