Archive for the ‘Failure’ Category

HIS GRACE

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Day 259

“My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness”
2 Corinthians 12:9

Many Christians wonder about besetting sins in their lives. In addition to besetting sins, Christians face character flaws, poor judgement with important issues (getting themselves into bad situations like financial or job loss, hurting relationships, etc.), and other maladies that beset them. They believe that God cannot use them, they are defeated and surely will not see eternal salvation.

There is a power greater than sin and failures. When you consider God’s people, it is very evident that many of them struggled with sin throughout their lives. Moses murdered a man, was a coward, and expressed great anger. David was adulterous, murdered a man, and never invested in his children leading to rebellious and wickedness in some of them. Peter attempted to hinder the Lord and denied Him three times. Martin Luther expressed anger continually, was anti-Semitic, filled with resentment and quit preaching for a while and didn’t want to be pastoring. Recent famous saints in the past hundred plus years suffered from constant depression, had massive business failures, were cold towards their wives, etc. The list is endless.

Francis Fenelon, a French mystic, wrote, “I have found God leaves, even in the most spiritual people, certain weaknesses which seem entirely out of place.” We do not understand this except to know that God has a long history of redeeming our sinful failures and most terrible and botched messes and turning them into opportunities for His kingdom. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

“I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not
be disqualified for the prize”
1 Corinthians 9:27

GOD’S PEOPLE

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Day 104

“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery”
Romans 11:25a

God’s plan was and is to have a people who are his. This was his plan from the beginning and it didn’t change because Adam and Eve broke fellowship through disobedience. Through Abraham he established a race to be His own. He loved His people, nurtured them and continually sent leaders to help them. He set them free when they got into bondage. He delivered them from their enemies. He gave them their own land. But the worse happened; he sent His only Son and they killed Him.

Did He reject them? No. Not only did He not reject them, but He has prepared them for another day. And here is the amazing revelation of our Father God’s nature – today the Jews are enemies of the gospel, but because He elected them, they are loved by God and will be saved! We were once disobedient and now have received mercy. And God will have mercy on them as He has on us.

It defies our understanding to fathom the depths of our God and His mercy. It goes counter to how we see things. Yet, this is the goodness of God. His love has no boundaries. And Paul says, “how unsearchable His judgements.”

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
Romans 11:36

GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Day 72

“When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not
lead them on the road . . . that was the shortest
way from Egypt to the Promised Land”
Exodus 13:17

God led the Israelites on a road that trapped them between the wilderness and the Red Sea. Pharaoh came after the Israelites with everything he had – his entire army of horses, chariots, and charioteers were committed to the chase. It wasn’t long before he caught up to the Israelites, and when they saw Pharaoh’s army approaching they began to panic and cry out to the Lord for help.

It got worse. Being caught with a sea to your back, and the only way of escape occupied by an army that wants to crush you, can strike fear in your heart. To the Israelites, it looked like the end. They turned against Moses, accusing him of leading them there to die. Things got bitter and they lost hope. How many times have we faced situations in our life that looked like the end? The great test of our character comes when we can find no answers, and see the absolute end of everything approaching.

But those Israelites were led into the impossible by God. He positioned them where they would find no answers. They believed they were going to die; it can’t get worse than that! But it was all for God’s purposes, because He is the answer, and only He could rescue them. And in the end, they did not have to lift a finger in their defense. This is our God: the God of the impossible. And He loves nothing more than to demonstrate His glory by rescuing us from the impossible.

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and
watch the Lord rescue you. . . . You won’t
have to lift a finger in your defense”
Exodus 14:13-14

PERMITTING FAILURE

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Day 14

“Then Joshua tore his clothes and
fell to the earth on his face”
Joshua 7:6

Joshua had just experienced a crushing defeat where 36 of his men were killed in an attack on Ai. He tears his clothes and throws himself on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and puts ashes on his head. Then he prays saying, “Sovereign Lord, why did you even bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?”

Make no mistake about it – Joshua was depressed and in self-pity that resulted in his accusing God of leading them into defeat! That is equal to Adam blaming God for causing him to sin through “the woman” given to him by God! Pride, arrogance, and self-assurance led to defeat and loss. And, God permitted it to happen. Why? We need to understand that it is not by strength that things are accomplished, but by the Spirit of the Lord. God permits failure in our lives to teach us the balance between ourselves and Christ in us.

What was God’s answer to this failure? “Rise up!” We must not wallow in our self-pity and religiosity. Rather, we should stand up before Him and confess yourself and move on. Joshua was overcome by defeat, and was more concerned about his own feelings of dismay than he was about striking the root of the problem. He lost perspective; forgot God’s promises and the great victories God had delivered into his hands. God was more interested in dealing with the problem.

Do not revert to your old ways. God does not forsake us, He gives us reassurance and He will lead us if we submit ourselves to Him. In this is victory and glory!

“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” ¬†Joshua 1:9