Feeling Useless? Worthless? Hopeless? Then Read This….

I read a lot. Too much probably. But the book that I probably don’t read enough is the Bible. I try to pick it up every day, even if it’s only to study a few lines. I know it is not for everyone and is probably the most controversial book ever written but, personally, I always feel better when I leaf through it. I’ve learnt so much from it and, when properly and consistently applied to your life, you really can reap the benefits. I know I have.

If nothing else the Bible is full of great stories of er…..biblical proportions. It is bursting with heroes and villains, incredible battles, natural disasters, miraculous happenings, epic family dramas and breathtaking love stories. It really has it all. Even a talking donkey millennia before Shrek was released. What’s not to like about that!

The Bible offers a consistent message that rings true to me – no matter how hopeless your situation might seem or how worthless you might feel there is hope. The Greatest Story Of Them All is bursting with tales of how God used walking disaster zones to perform great deeds. Zeroes to heroes. Don’t agree? Well then I suggest you check out the stories of Moses, Gideon, Samson, David, Jonah, Matthew, Paul and so on and on and on.

My favourite though has to be Peter. The Fisherman Formerly Known As Simon who Jesus plucked from the relative obscurity of the shores of Galillee to spearhead the greatest revolutionary movement ever to sweep the earth. He was hand picked by Jesus to lead the early Christian church against seemingly insurmountable odds. Yet, throughout the Gospels, he comes across as the most infuriating of characters. And the most unlikely of leaders. Peter who saw Jesus raise the dead and heal countless people, including his own mother in law, yet still had doubts. Maybe he didn’t want Jesus to heal his mother in law. Like many other men. Not me I might add. I get on very well with mine. I’m not scared of her. More a healthy respect 😳

Peter, whose faith failed him when he attempted to walk on the waters. Peter, whose nerve failed him during the transfiguration causing him to start babbling about building tents for Jesus and the prophets. Peter, whose temperament failed him when he struck out in anger in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter, whose nerve failed him when he denied knowing Jesus three times the night before the crucifixion. What on earth did Jesus see in him that led him to declare that Peter would be the rock on which he would build his Church following the Ascension?

He saw something. He saw beyond the many flaws to see the innate inner strength and courage. The courage that meant he was the first to race into the tomb that Easter Sunday. The courage to speak to thousands on the day of Pentecost. The courage to establish the churches in Antioch and Rome in the face of barbaric persecution. The courage to die a martyrs death in the latter city yet still have the humility to ask to be crucified upside down as he didn’t view himself worthy enough to die the same death as the Messiah.

I don’t believe in natural leaders. Peter certainly wasn’t one. I believe we all have the ability to lead and influence others. We all have the ability to set a positive example and bring out the best in others. I also don’t believe in lost causes. None of us are worthless, hopeless or beyond redemption. It is never too late to turn your life around. No hole is too deep, no mess too messy. Everyone has good in them, everyone has the potential to be a better person and change the world. We just have to rise above the shame, the guilt and the despair. Peter did and so can you.

I can be shy about my faith and there’s no bigger turn off to me than having Christianity rammed down your throat. But I should talk about it more on this blog. So over the next few days I’m going to write a bit more about ‘useless, worthless, hopeless’ Peter and the rabble of murderers, thieves, political extremists and social outcasts who Jesus entrusted with spreading his message. People who changed the world. And it all started in an upper room in Jerusalem where they gathered frightened and confused awaiting a sign from Heaven.

Until next time. Never give up. Just like Peter never gave up.

Matthew 16:18 – ‘And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’

This blog post is in conjunction with a series being written by Littlemissbearpaw at http://sistersbyfaith.wordpress.com over the coming days. I’d encourage you to check out and follow her blog.

45 thoughts on “Feeling Useless? Worthless? Hopeless? Then Read This….

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  1. Hey brother, I really enjoyed your post! I heard about a year ago from a pastor that there are thirty days in a month and thirty one chapters in Proverbs so it’s easy to read a chapter every morning. I started there, with a chapter in proverbs and a chapter of a Gospel. Since then, through the strength given by the Holy Spirit, I’ve slowly added more and more to my morning reading. Like Ray Comfort likes to say ‘no readie no feedie’ meaning that he doesn’t feed his stomach until he feeds is soul! Thats a great principle for anyone who eats breakfast. I’m a coffee gal, so it’s not much help to me. But I thought I’d mention it for encouragement to you or any of your readers. Another brother in Christ also recently pointed out to me that God uses us shy introverts for His purpose, as extroverts usually can’t sit and write blogs. They’re great at socializing, those extroverts, I can barely make phones without having a mild panic attack! His words encouraged me not to feel guilty about my shyness, but rather to let God be strong in my weakness. I hope this is all encouraging to you, as your post has encouraged me! God bless you, dear friend!

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  2. The perfect and all-powerful immortal man whom we call God desires only to be a father. He wants us to address him that way, because he knows who we are in the spirit, and he loves each of us, despite our mortal imperfections. He wants so earnestly for his spiritual children to return home to eternal life in his mansion, that he gives us at least seventy times seven chances to seek his forgiveness for our mistakes and strive to follow the example of his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, whom he permitted to suffer the punishment for whatever we’ve done wrong, during the sacrifice of his son’s blameless earthly life, which act also gave us the gift of resurrection to immortality. This is my Christian witness. Thank you for letting me bear my testimony here.

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  3. Peter is such an extraordinary and relatable person, a “normal” person used mightily by God despite the extreme ups and downs of his Christian life. I look forward to meeting him in person in Heaven! Shae and I love the Casting Crowns song about him, “This Is Now.”

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  4. Thank you Stephen, I thoroughly enjoyed this and your take on Peter. I’ll be preaching this weekend about one of my biblical heroes, blind Bartimaeus; sharing his example to help us all overcome the obstacles that we face in life.
    Blessings,
    Chuck

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  5. I like Peter because he is so impulsive and the most human of the disciples for me. Although his faith wavered as he walked on water, at least he took a couple of steps and without feeling the need to first discuss the reasons why it was impossible withe the other disciples. He did not get into the whole gravity thing, but stepped put in faith. When we just step out in faith, God will do miracles. I, too, have in the midst of stepping out in faith stopped to think of the impossibility of what I am doing and started to fail, but Jesus directed my attention back to Him and I was okay. Good post. Looking forward to the next few posts.

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  6. “No matter how hopeless your situation might seem or how worthless you might feel there is hope” 👌❤ There is always light in the darkness

    I’m not a Christian, I’m actually a Muslim (though I do believe that we are bound together by belief in God and simply through the bond of humanity) – regardless, I loved reading this post and it was very interesting to read your perspectives on the story of Peter.

    Thanks for sharing the story, I look forward to the posts to come!

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  7. I love how you have created an image of a very human Peter! I also agree that I don’t want to ram any kind of religion down anyone’s throat. But I love how you described the Bible and all the types of stories in a way that people today can relate to. I believe that the easiest way to show compassion and leadership is by offering a smile. I attend a church whose mission is to help the homeless get care without enabling them. They do great work. But my point is that as I walk into the church there are people sitting outside. I smile and say good morning. My heart fills with joy because every one of them smile back and often start a conversation. By allowing others to feel human and not objects is one of the easiest and greatest ways to be a leader.

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