“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)
One of the greatest hope-killers is that you have tried for so long to
change and have not succeeded.
You look back and think: What’s the use? Even if I could experience a
breakthrough, there would be so little time left to live in my new way
that it wouldn’t make much difference compared to so many decades of
The former robber (the thief on the cross next to Jesus) lived for
another hour or so before he died. He was changed. He lived on the
cross as a new man with new attitudes and actions (no more reviling).
But 99.99% of his life was wasted. Did the last couple hours of
They mattered infinitely. This former robber, like all of us, will
stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of his
life. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that
each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body,
whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). How will his life witness
in that day to his new birth and his union with Christ?
The last hours will tell the story. This man was new. His faith was
real. He is truly united to Christ. Christ’s righteousness is his. His
sins are forgiven.
That is what the final hours will proclaim at the last judgment. His
change mattered. It was, and it will be, a beautiful testimony to the
power of God’s grace and the reality of his faith and his union with
Now back to our struggle with change. I am not saying that struggling
believers are unsaved like the robber was. I am simply saying that the
last years and the last hours of life matter.
If in the last 1% of our lives, we can get a victory over some
longstanding sinful habit or hurtful defect in our personality, it
will be a beautiful testimony now to the power of grace; and it will
be an added witness (not the only one) at the last judgment of our
faith in Christ and our union with him.
Take heart, struggler. Keep asking, seeking, knocking. Keep looking to
Christ. If God gets glory by saving robbers in the eleventh hour, he
surely has his purposes why he has waited till now to give you the
breakthrough you have sought for decades.