"God is in the midst, no matter how bad it seems" - Justin Beiber.
I’m not one for quoting Justin Beiber very often, to be honest. However, these words are quite profound.
People have a lot to say about how Justin Beiber has lived his life, professed his faith, lost his way and come back to faith again...it’s tough sometimes living the Christian life, never mind living it with the whole world watching you.
It’s also easy for us to judge other believers, saying "They don’t live a perfect life so how can they be a Christian?" It's easy to see someone giving a bad representation of Christ and to say, "If that’s what Christians are like, then I don’t want to be one!" I've heard all of these statements and questions from various people over time. And everyone is entitled to their own perspective - we all have one!
The Christian life can be difficult, and yes we all have the responsibility to be good representatives of Jesus here on earth, but there will also be times when we don’t live up to it and we fail. We should always strive for perfection and excellence because it’s what Jesus modelled and called us to, but we should also never forget the other side of that coin - Jesus also modelled grace, love, kindness, respect and even the 'godly rebuke' - he sometimes put people in their place when it was needed. He didn't write people off if they weren't perfect; he offered what was needed to get them back on track.
There's these two clear elements to living the Christian life. Firsty, we must be persistent in chasing the high standard God has for us - there is no point pursuing a relationship with Jesus if you haven’t got the faithfulness to stick at it. And secondly, we must remember that Jesus' grace succeeds when we fail. We will fail at times. We are not perfect people, but the grace of God is enough for us when we mess up, enabling us to keep moving forward in our relationship with him, and not just becoming stagnant.
God has so much for us. Be adventurous, step out in faith, ask God for the desires of your heart, use prophecy, ask for healing, talk to people about Jesus...it’s such an exciting ride! Press on for him with passion, but remember, when things get hard, when you slip up, fail or make mistakes, God is in the midst, no matter how bad it seems.
Remember the old (what Jesus has done for us) and step out into the new (what He is doing in us today). That’s when we will see the growth of the Church, that’s when we will see revival and it’s when we will be able to fulfill what we have been called to. Keep perspective when you fall, show grace towards others who fall, keep moving forward and never give up. It’s worth it!