Beautiful Believer

He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

When you think of the word “beauty,” what comes to mind? I live on the east coast of Florida, so the first thing I think of is sunrise at the beach. As a teenager, I served as an ocean lifeguard, and I would often arrive at Hollywood Beach early enough to see the sun rise over the ocean, and the beauty God had created never ceased to amaze me. Some readers might say that “beauty” is best represented by a mountain range covered in show; for others beauty is a nature trail winding through a forest.

In today’s word of encouragement , we read that God is making everything beautiful in its time, and that includes you. That’s right . . . you! In God’s perfect timing, you are being perfected into the beautiful believer you were created to be. Now, I’ll be the first one to admit that it often does not feel this way. Some days we feel like we are everything other than “beautiful” — we think what we should not think, say what we should not say, and do what we should not do. And those are the days when we must remember that God is making everything beautiful in His time and in His way . . . including us!

Never forget that everything is happening for two reasons: God’s glory and our ultimate good, and we can and should trust that His process is perfect. As one Bible commentator put it, “God is working all things out so that, all things considered, it could not have been better.” To be sure, on the night Jesus was betrayed, Peter reflected anything but beauty as he called down curses on himself to emphasize his desperate denials that he had been a companion of Jesus. But after the resurrection, Jesus restored Peter, reminding him that He could see what Peter could not see: the true condition of Peter’s heart. On the surface, Peter looked like a man who had no concern for Jesus at all, but Jesus knew better. Jesus knew that inasmuch as the spirit is willing, far too often the flesh is weak. Jesus knew that Peter’s heart beat for him, though it beat imperfectly.

This is true for all of us. Everything we do, we do imperfectly, often without any measure of beauty. But remember, God is always looking at the heart. Jesus knows you love Him, just like He knew Peter loved Him. The reason Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” was not because He was seeking reassurance, but because Peter did! Jesus knew Peter would be doubting his own faith because of his cowardly denials.

Peter saw his own failure looming large, but Jesus saw Peter’s great faith that would be lived out imperfectly. And not long after Jesus had restored Peter to fellowship, Peter stood boldly before a group of unbelieving Jews on the Day of Pentecost and proclaimed, “Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. . . . Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:36, 38).

Regardless of where this message finds you today, remember that you are beautiful in the eyes of God because you are clothed in the rich, righteous robes of Jesus Christ. And in God’s time and in His perfect way, you are being made beautiful in every way. There is a time coming when you will received into glory, where you will be without spot or blemish . . .  in a word, you will be beautiful.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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