It is easy to lose heart when you face trials, setbacks, and failures. But failures in life do not need to define you. Rather, you are defined by your God-given identity of disciple. As long as you remain in Him, you continue to be defined by Him, not by any failings.
If I were your enemy, I’d constantly remind you of your past mistakes and poor choices. I’d want to keep you burdened by shame and guilt, in hopes that you’ll feel incapacitated by your many failings and see no point in even trying again. I’d work to convince you that you’ve had your chance and blown it—that your God may be able to forgive some people for some things, but not you… not for this.
Failure is just part of the process, and it’s not just okay; it’s better than okay. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so that we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups.
A dead-end is only the end of your road if you fail to turn around. Too many people needlessly waste time and energy trying to find a way across a dead-end street. Stop, turn around, and ask God for directions to get to where you were going in the first place. Recalculate!
You might have stopped doing something that you should be doing. You might have lost your way, lost your vision, your goal, your drive, your discipline or worse yet, you’ve lost hope.
Maybe you have fallen down or you tried and something didn’t work and you labelled yourself a “failure.”
Let’s reframe your thinking.
You lost sight. You’re not a loser.
You lost your hope. You’re not and it’s not hopeless.
You failed. You’re not a failure.
If there is breath, there is hope.
If there is God, there is hope. There is and there is.
Start today. It might be a little humbling to begin again but, humble pie isn’t so bad.
It might be hard but hey, you can do hard things.
It might be hard but hard isn’t the same as impossible.
Today is your day.
Go get it.
Start again, again.
You’ve got this.
April 11, 2020
Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
This Easter Saturday, reflect on the dashed dreams and hopes of the disciples as they awoke the morning after Jesus’ death. Peter’s heart was crushed, for he denied the One he loved most. John tried to console an inconsolable Mary as he held the mother of the one who died a seemingly shame-filled, gruesome death. Other disciples cringed as they remembered their desperate dash into the night, abandoning Jesus. Others dealt with the death of their revolutionary dreams; Jesus wasn’t going to take the physical throne of Jerusalem, ousting their oppressors once and for all. Yes, it was a dark time for the disciples. However, It is only in the darkest of nights that the stars shine their brightest. Joy comes in the morning.
Leave the broken, irreversible past in God’s hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.
Duties are ours, events are the Lord’s; when our faith goeth to meddle with events, and to hold a court (if I may so speak) upon God’s Providence, and beginneth to say, “How wilt Thou do this or that?” we lose ground; we have nothing to do there; it is our part to let the Almighty exercise His own office, and steer His own helm; there is nothing left us, but to see how we may be approved of Him, and how we may roll the weight of our weak souls, in well-doing, upon Him who is God omnipotent, and when what we thus essay miscarrieth, it shall neither be our sin nor cross.
We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.
Learning to pray for the sick is like learning to ride a bicycle. At first, the parent runs alongside the wobbly child to prevent serious injury. …Soon he will learn to ride smoothly and safely. Learning to pray for the sick is a similar process: the first solo experiences are usually messy, but in time they become quite enjoyable. I am more interested in ministry than neatness, so I provide a place in which people know they are accepted and helped even when they fail.