Only God can take what once caused shame and turn it into something that creates praise. Only God can take what once held you back, and use it to propel you forward. But that’s exactly what he does … and that’s what he wants to do in you now. My Sister, God wants to use what has most hurt you, what the enemy has held over your head for all this time, what has hidden in the dark corners of your life that you don’t talk about, and he wants to now use it for good.
Many of us have a symbol of the cross as a reminder of what Jesus did for us. We wear it as jewelry, we tattoo it on our skin, we hang them on our walls. A cross symbolizes salvation, saved from what we were and promised what can be. But think about this for a moment, before Jesus, no one honored the cross. A cross was a sign of guilt and shame. A cross was punishment for wrongdoing. There was no jewelry with crosses. Crosses didn’t hang on walls. Crosses held criminals. Crosses crucified those who were wrong.
But Jesus changed it all. Now, what was a symbol of a criminal is a symbol of the compassion of Christ. What signified shame, now signifies something sacred. What represented guilt, now represents grace.
We proudly display what was once a disgrace. Now, every time you see the symbol of the cross, let it remind you that Jesus turns shame into something sacred, and guilt into grace. The very thing that once hurt you so deeply, in the hands of Jesus, can become the thing that heals you completely. It can become the thing that redeems the pain and drives you with passion and purpose. Jesus isn’t here with condemnation over you, he is here with compassion for you.
Have you ever heard the story of Rahab? Rahab was a prostitute. For years, maybe even decades, she had sold her body and lived in that shame. But that shame did not dismiss her from being the vessel God would use in mighty ways. Her shame did not dismiss her from an encounter that would save her entire family and bring them to salvation.
In Joshua 2, we read about the 2 Israelite spies who came into the land of Jericho. They were there to plan their attack and move forward toward the land promised to them. Now understand, when the Israelites came through a town, God gave them complete victory and everything was destroyed in their path. Rahab took in these spies and hid them in her house so they would not be found. This was no small act. She knew they were of God, and she was submitting to God’s plan. In exchange, they promised they would save her entire family.
The spies told her to tie a scarlet rope in the window of her home as a symbol that her family was all inside, then when they entered the city, they would be protected and not killed. And so it was, her family was saved through the symbol of the scarlet rope. Joshua led his Army into Jericho, they marched around the walls 7 times until they fell, and the entire city was destroyed by them. All except for Rahab and her family hidden inside her house with the scarlet rope. Joshua 6:25 “But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.”
Now, what’s interesting is this scarlet rope. Understand, the scarlet rope which became a symbol to save her family was previously her symbol of shame. It was essentially her open for business sign as a prostitute. With this rope hanging out of her window, the whole town knew who she was and what she did. She was a disgrace. But now, the same rope which brought shame brought salvation to her entire family. The same rope which was her guilt became nothing but grace.
Just like the cross, Jesus changed it all.
Now Sis, what do you have as a reminder of your guilt and shame? What disgrace serves as a reminder that you’re not good enough, never worthy, and dismissed from better promises for your life? Jesus wants to change that for you! He wants to bring you into a wholeness you can’t even imagine. He wants to set your feet into purpose you’ve never dared to even dream about.
Rahab and her family were saved that day, and the entire trajectory of her life was forever changed. Now welcomed in as an Israelite, she married Salmon, and they had a son named Boaz. Maybe you recognize his name. Boaz became the wealthy land owner who was kind to the two widows Ruth and her mother-in law Naomi. Boaz married Ruth. They had a son name Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of King David. 31 generations after Salmon and Rahab comes Jesus!
Yes, the woman of shame, guilt and disgrace was hand chosen by the Almighty in the lineage to bring us Jesus.
And you think your shame, guilt and disgrace dismisses you from his promises and purpose in your life? Ahhhhh no Sis, it perfectly aligns you for his grace and his power! The enemy doesn’t get to hold this over your head any longer. Jesus is here to turn this into a symbol which saves!
Won’t you let him use this now? Use this to save you. Use this to set you and your family apart. Use this to make a difference for generations to come! You have been deemed as worthy. You have been chosen. Now, let it be!