Have you ever felt like your life is ruined and without purpose, and that you have gone beyond the point of making something good out of it? Many Christians have. However, you do not have to stay stuck in that situation.
John Piper, author and founder of DesiringGod.org, encourages us that there is hope for those who feel, for whatever reason, that their lives no longer serve a purpose. He addresses the topic in a podcast posted at the 'Ask Pastor John' section of DesiringGod.
His advice was given in reply to a 64-year-old man who said every day is like "nothing more than an exercise in waking up in the morning, getting through the day, and going to bed at night. What advice can you give to someone who has already wasted his life?"
Piper gives advice on how to keep walking with hope for the future.
First, seek for "evidences of Grace." If you examine your life closely, you will find them. These are the "things you wouldn't have done if you weren't a Christian—if you were a merely natural man rather than spiritual, indwelt by the Holy Spirit."
Such evidences of grace are important because they prove that you truly belong to God, and one day He will acknowledge them.
"God turned every one of those evidences of grace in your life," including your failures, for His purposes, Piper said.
"Beware of overstating the waste of the past. You might find yourself sounding humble but, in fact, dishonoring grace," he added.
Second, consider the future ahead. Piper cited the thief who was crucified next to Jesus and who, hours before his death, repented and rebuked the other thief who mocked the Lord. He pointed out that the thief who repented had only a few hours—such a short time—before he went to be with Jesus in paradise.
Piper said you have "more hours to do good deeds than the thief on the cross did."
"Now that is absolutely stunning. In other words, there is a huge segment of your life in front of you," he said. "It is incalculable what can be achieved for Jesus in fifteen years. Jesus served publicly for three years."
Third, forget the past. Piper reminds us of Philippians 3:13-14, which says: "Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ."
Too often, memories of the past keep us stuck, reminding us of our failures and hindering us from moving forward. Piper said it's time to dream a new dream.
"So don't waste the rest of your life by fretting over the past. God has a new dream for you that is not wasteful," Piper said.