A friend has had a difficult few months. In July, his wife left him and their children after committing adultery. He has been sharing his problems with me. We have been praying for reconciliation. A few weeks ago, she returned to him.
Today, he came to me with a question. He told me that his wife feels terrible about what she has done. She is depressed, feeling like the Lord cannot accept her and use her in his service anymore. My friend asked me, "Does the Bible say anything about God being able to use someone who has messed up her life?"
Immediately, I told him about the time that King David messed up his life. One night when he had little to do, King David caught a glimpse of a beautiful young woman. He decided to seduce her. They committed adultery. Not long afterward, they discovered that she was pregnant. After failing in a scheme to cover it up, King David arranged to have her husband killed. Then he married the young woman. (See 2 Samuel 11.)
Eventually, a prophet confronted the king about his sins (2 Samuel 12). David was humiliated by his sins. He repented and confessed his guilt. Although he lived with some awful consequences, he was forgiven by God.
In fact, he was not only forgiven; God continued to use him in writing portions of the Bible. After he had repented, King David wrote Psalm 51.
"Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
"For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment...
"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
"Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you...
"O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise...
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God,
you will not despise" (Psalm 51:1-4, 10-13, 15, 17).
God used a messed-up, forgiven man in amazing ways. He can used messed-up, forgiven people today in amazing ways, too.
My friend's wife is in an excellent position to be used by God. He does not despise her broken and contrite heart. He loves her.