Some unlikely saints
If at any time we are tempted to despair, simply because of the accuser, it is well to go back and pick up the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, which is the catalogue of the Old Testament saints. Read through that catalogue of saints sometime. Then go back and read the lives of those men and women in the Old Testament. They are all brands plucked out of the burning. Noah: he got drunk after the flood. Abraham: God told him to leave his country with his wife Sarah, and he took his nephew with him and his nephew's wife, whom God did not say to take, and they caused him trouble. He then went into Egypt when there was a famine, instead of trusting in God; then he sinned with Hagar, and out of this union came Ishmael. Yet Abraham is praised for his faith eleven times in one chapter of Hebrews. Moses killed a man. Samson, an adulterer, broke his vows as a Nazirite. Barak, general of an army, would not go to war, unless the woman Deborah went with him so he could lean on her military judgment. And so on through the scriptures. In the Old Testament they seemed to be entirely different characters. So God chose them not just because of what they were, but because of what they could become. That's why he chose us; because we are his instruments. His power is shown by what he can do with reeds.