26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 1:25-27, New International Version 

Many great men and women of God throughout the history of the church were considered unfit or unusable by their peers and community because of past sin, personal shortcomings, or physical impediments, but everything changed for them when they experienced the transforming power of God’s love and grace in their lives. 

  • Photina the Samaritan woman at the well and Zacchaeus the chief tax collector became excellent witnesses of Christ.
  • Peter the deserting coward and Paul the murderous persecutor of Christians became great leaders in the early church. 
  • Augustine of Hippo was a philanderer in his youth before becoming a distinguished church theologian. 
  • John Wesley was an ordained minister who doubted his own salvation but he subsequently led thousands to the Lord. 
  • Sadhu Sundar Singh was a suicidal youth but through a deeply personal encounter with Jesus he became an undisputed Indian Christian missionary.
  • Smith Wigglesworth was a stutterer who never had a formal education but became an outstanding healing evangelist through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit.
  • John Sung who suffered deep bouts of depression became a tireless Chinese revivalist and Bible teacher who fired up the faith of Chinese believers and churches in Mainland China and Southeast Asia.
  • Gladys Aylward was deemed unfit for missionary service because of her low social status and poor education but she almost singlehandedly saved many lives in tough and challenging situations.

These clouds of witnesses are testimonies to God’s amazing grace and faithfulness towards those who put their trust in Him. If God can produce awesome works through these individuals, God can also do them through you.

The Apostle Paul encourages the Corinthians to eagerly seek greater gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31) so that they can serve the Body of Christ with greater passion and effectiveness. In the same way, yearn for God’s supernatural increase to happen in your heart and mind so that you can amazingly bless your generation and the next to come.


© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.