Friday, September 9, 2016

Failure Isn't Fatal

I believe we are all familiar with the famous quote, "To err is human." But somehow, knowing the truth of that doesn't ease our conscience when we fail God. We feel forsaken, unusable and unworthy. Sometimes the mistake is so massive that we fear even God's great forgiveness cannot cover the transgression. But the truth is that sometimes it takes our most significant failures to bring out our greatest attributes.

Take Peter, for example. For the three years that the disciple walked with Jesus, he was arrogant, self-willed and determined to have the last word. Despite Jesus' teaching and not-so-subtle rebukes, Peter just couldn't seem to grasp the magnitude of what Jesus was trying to accomplish on this earth. But after Peter denied Jesus, everything changed. At first, Peter was heartbroken and probably felt as we often do--that God could never use him again. But after the resurrection, at an intimate seaside dinner, Jesus made it clear to Peter that he still had a work for the disciple to do. "Feed my sheep." Thus, the Peter of the book of Acts was born. Unlike the former disciple, Peter--though still bold--was humble, teachable and led by God. Until his dying breath, he proclaimed the love and forgiveness of Christ and won many souls to the Lord.

Then there's Moses. Like Peter, the young Moses had his own ambitions and ideas of how he thought things should be, but after killing an Egyptian in a fit of anger, he found himself spending the next forty years of his life watching sheep. Little did he know that God was preparing him to shepherd His people out of captivity. Moses' failure led to his forty years of training in the wilderness, preparing him for the task that God had called him to do.

So you see, while God does not excuse our mistakes and wrongdoings, He can still use them to bring about a good thing. And part of that good thing is creating a newer, better version of ourselves. Our mistakes are not fatal. In fact, they are often the very things that God uses to get us where we need to be in life and our service to him. So, today, if you feel you've strayed too far or done something too horrible for Him to forgive, remember that God works all things for our good, and that includes our failures. Just ask Peter and Moses.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - I John 1:9

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