張貼：Joel Osteen 7/27/2012
Posted by Joel Osteen on 7/27/2012
I've talked to a lot of people over the years that really get down on themselves because of the mistakes they have made in the past. They don't think they deserve God's goodness. They think they've gone too far. But the amazing part about the mercy of God is that even when we bring trouble on ourselves, even when it's our own fault, God will still receive us when we come to Him. He still extends forgiveness; and when we repent and receive that forgiveness, we don't have to live in condemnation. God says, "I will still bring you to a flourishing finish."
Think about Sampson in the Bible. His birth was predicted in scripture. An angel appeared to his mother and said, "You're going to have a son. He will be a deliverer." As long as his hair wasn't cut, Sampson would have supernatural strength. He had a supernatural beginning. He grew up to do great things. He had uncommon strength and could not be conquered by his enemies. But over time, he let his guard down. He became undisciplined and revealed the secret of his strength when he wasn't supposed to. They ended up cutting his hair, and he became weak and was captured by his enemies. They were still so afraid of him that they gouged out both of his eyes. This once powerful man who carried God's anointing and favor ended up chained, working as a slave, grinding at the mill. You would think after all that, "God wouldn't have anything to do with him. He had his chance. He had a supernatural birth, supernatural strength and favor. He made wrong choices and gave it all away. Too bad for him." However, that's not the way our God thinks. God will always give you another chance.
One day Sampson was in a large hall. They were having a reception with thousands of people. The enemy had him chained to the walls. It was like he was on display. They were walking by making fun and mocking him. Sampson asked one of the small children to place his hands on the pillars of that hall so he could rest. The scripture says, "The Spirit of the Lord came on Sampson one more time." His hair began to grow once again. God gave him his strength back. He pushed down those walls and defeated more of his enemies in his death than he did his whole lifetime! That's a flourishing finish. That's what God wants to do for you—He wants to make you more successful in your later days than ever before!
Don't ever think that you've made too many mistakes for God. Don't ever think you have to just sit on the sidelines of life. No, just like with Sampson, the Spirit of the Lord will renew your strength. He can make you greater than ever before. Quit beating yourself up. You can't do anything about the past, but you can do something about your future. Receive His love; receive His forgiveness. Shake off condemnation and open your heart to Him because He will always give you another chance!
"For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…" (Proverbs 24:16, NIV).