What is grace? How does God use our pasts to make us beautiful ministers of His work?
1 Corinthians 15:9–10 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Grace is often defined as God giving us good things that we don't deserve. It's probably more accurate to say that God's grace is the way He is and acts. God's grace is the source of every blessing we have.
1 Timothy 1:13-16 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
Your heart may ache considering the bad choices you made or the hurt you caused others. These texts, and Paul's story, are here to remind you that God's grace is more powerful, that God's patience is long, and that your future is rich in Christ Jesus as you serve God. I pray that your life shines with the testimony that God can take the hardest heart and make it soft.