As my husband and I were in bed the other night, ready to turn the lights off, we had one of our nightly mini discussions. Often times that’s how we catch up, talk about current events or just listen to each other. I truly enjoy the end of the day recaps with him before we start catching some ZZZZ’s.
This time our conversation centered around some current events going on. Although I don’t usually talk about politics or certain current events on Feasting On Joy, I really felt prompted to share some words of encouragement with you that were sparked from our conversation.
It has been widely publicized recently the downfall (or sin shall we say) of various public figures. The other night in particular we were pondering Josh Duggar and Pastor Saeed Abedini’s fall into Satan’s traps. Our conversation was a bit all over the place as far as how certain sins could have happened, how those two in particular could choose fornication, abuse or addiction to pornography, how unusual some of the reports have been and also how disappointing it was to find out their hidden sins.
These men are real human beings (who are not alone in their failings) made in the image of Christ, who both had secret lives of sin and need our prayers. Giving in to temptation and our flesh could happen to anyone of us whether we are on TV, in Iran unfairly in prison or sitting in our cubicle at work for the day. Prayer, edification, humility and grace is necessary. We have been praying for Josh, Anna and his family since we found out last year of the sad news and we have been praying for Pastor Saeed for over 3 years. While our prayers are effective and have even been answered (so excited Saeed was released) we still, as humans, have questions over the actions that have taken place and the choices these two men made.
However, we might never know the details and frankly the details are none of our business. The enemy is cunning and knows our weaknesses. He shoots at the head of the household to hit the family. It’s that ripple effect. We have to stick to these words that Paul wrote to the church in Thessolonica over 2,000 years ago. They are still relevant today!
Build each other up; don’t tear each other down
Admonish and Help
You see, their lives aren’t much different than yours and mine. We may not have committed adultery or committed any sort of abuse but are we without any sin? Jesus said in John 8:7 “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'” After Jesus asked that question nobody cast a stone. They all left because not one of them was without sin!
As my husband and I were trying to come to terms with these situations in our flesh (me more so in my flesh to be honest) and with our own human understanding the Lord was gracious to remind us that we are no different. Sin is sin. No human should be placed on a pedestal and although I learned that a long time ago I still need to remember that everyone has a story whether it is in the past or they are living it right now. We are all sinners in need of a savior and in need of God’s G R A C E. We all have skeletons of sin hanging in the closet so to speak. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The most hopeful and glorious part of our conversation that night was where we ended.
God uses sinners! The grace He imparts on his believers is humbling. Look at Moses. He protested and didn’t trust God but God used him to save the Israelites. Look at Noah. God used him to save mankind even though he knew he would eventually get drunk with wine. How about Saul who later was called Paul? He vehemently persecuted Christians – killing them – yet God used him in the early church to spread the Gospel in the early church. King David was given God’s grace too. Even though he committed adultery and murder he was used by God and is called “a man after God’s own heart.” There are so many examples in the Bible of God using bad for good and using sinners saved by grace.
God has used (and will continue to use) Pastor Saeed and who knows, maybe he will use both Naghmeh and Saeed to help people overcome pornography as abuse once they have worked through this issue with God’s guidance? As Josh and Anna reconcile, I hold hope in the Lord that He will restore their marriage and that they too will be able to use their past trials to help others get through the same thing. God doesn’t waste anything! He will impart His grace on the sinners and work good through it.
We closed our talk time with confidence in our Savior:
– Jesus Christ –
– The Only Begotten Son of God (Emmanuel) –
– Our Redeemer (Jehovah Go’eleck) –
– Our Restorer (Jehovah El-Ashiyb) –
– Our Healer (Jehovah Rapha) –
– Our Deliverer (Jehovah Pelet) –
– Our Forgiver (Jehovah El-Nas) –
– Our Savior who gives us His Unmerited Favor – His Grace (Jehovah El-Hannun) –
Those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior (both Josh and Saeed do) and are willing to repent (turn away from sin whether past or present) and live a life worthy of His calling receive His Grace. I don’t know about you but that is a rest giving statement for both my husband and I!
There is no minimizing sin. It is horrendous and causes destruction sometimes that lasts a lifetime. We, as Josh and Saeed, have failed and sinned in one way or another and God has not given up on us. He’s waiting for us to turn to Him so he can pick us up and restore us. He knows our details and yet still loves us unconditionally. He knows our skeletons and does not play favorites.
So, even though there may still be questions and people are obviously hurting through these two men’s sin, we can rest in WHO God is. Their families can rest in WHO God is. Take a look at that list above again. It is by no means exhaustive but we can trust in the immutable (never changing) Savior in Jesus Christ. His character will never change no matter how many humans fall.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Will you continue to pray with us for these brothers who need the redeeming grace and forgiveness of Jesus? Pray for their hurting families as well. God can change hearts, bring them back to Him and restore relationships.
*I just want to make it clear, if I haven’t in this post, that their sin just as my sin is not condoned. It is not acceptable. It is not something to continue in. If you or someone is living in sin (against what the Word of God says) then I would encourage you to repent and turn back to our sweet Savior. Or if you have never asked Jesus Christ to come in to your heart to be your personal Lord and Savior and cleanse you from all unrighteousness, it’s never too late. Now is the perfect time. He wants you just as you are. In fact, he says “Come just as you are.” His power and strength clean you up in your journey with Him!
Be encouraged and rest in Jesus!