God Uses Failures

God uses failures
“No failure is fatal. No failure is fatal. No failure is fatal.”

This has been my mantra for the past week.

I got the devotional No Failure is Fatal by Max Lucado, in my inbox last week. The devotional came right before I failed woefully in something that I thought I had already gotten a hold on. My pride, my controlling tendencies and my manipulative heart. I had no idea how much of an encouragement this devotional would turn out to be for me.

I saw it coming. The rage of anger, the irritation, and the pride. The possibility that I would fail to honor God through my response to the situation but I subconsciously chose not to fight. I got too comfortable and I felt like it was already a lost cause. I believed the lie of the enemy that there was nothing to do and I allowed ungodly fear to overwhelm my mind. I was unable to believe that I have been redeemed and I have the power within me to not go back to my old ways.

So I acted out of fear. Fear of not knowing what the future holds. Fear of the past. There was no need nor desire to fight. Not through prayer or the word.

But God knew the future and He saw my failures even before they came to be.
So God was not caught unaware when I reacted in anger. He was not shocked that I gave in to my fear and pride. He saw it coming, and in mercy He had already went before me to provide sufficient grace in my failures and weaknesses.

“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD” (Psalm 139:4).

He is not amazed at my failures and even before I failed, He has chosen to use the failure. To show His surpassing power in my weakness. To reveal to me my desperate and constant need for Him. To help me understand that He uses failures.
My failure and sin towards God and another person has shown me my hypocrisy when it comes to extending grace toward others.

I desire to be forgiven, for my failures and weaknesses to be easily overlooked and for the shame to be covered. Although I’ve occasionally failed to do this for others. If I’m sinned against, my natural tendency is to want others to know of what wrong was done to me.

Sadly, I have not been one to cover up another person’s shame or weaknesses. I have not loved others well in their sins, especially my brothers and sisters in Christ. But I desire to be loved and accepted with all my sins, mess, failures and weaknesses.

The standing truth is that I am loved well. Loved and fully accepted by God. And if I choose to believe and walk in this standing truth, I believe that I would be empowered to do the same for others.

God uses failures. The only reason I would wish to have never failed would be due to having to accept the responsibility and consequences of my actions.

Failure at times can be painful and shameful but it is not fatal.

And in the discipline from God that comes out of this failure, I feel and see the Lord’s mercy. I cannot fear or resist His loving discipline. It is good and perfect.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18

When The Hurt Is Too Painful To Forgive

 

Too Painful To Forgive
Some hurts are unbelievably hard and painful to forgive.

Some people in our lives have, either intentionally or not, done some unforgivable things to us. And we all have our own unique definition for what we deem unforgivable.

Things we struggle with letting go of. Things that have marred or shaped us in some form or way. Things we would like to gladly hold over their heads for as long as possible.

Due to these reasons, many of us are prone to see those that have hurt us as our enemies. And we are not alone in this as God also has enemies.

The important question is who are the enemies of God and how does He deal with them?

God’s enemies are those that have not been reconciled to Him through faith in Christ. Those that continue to live a life of wickedness and by doing so have made themselves out to be enemies of God.

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life.” (Romans 5:10)

And in spite of their hearts and lives, they continue to receive blessings from God in one way or the other.

“God causes His rain to rain on both the righteous and the wicked, and His sun to shine on both the good and evil.” (Matthew 5:45, emphasis added)

And we are called to be like our Father.

In being like Him, we’ve been called to love those who hate us, pray for those that curse us and do good to those that do not wish us well (Matthew 5:44).

Among the many other things in which I struggle with, being obedient to this particular commandment from God is one. I occasionally struggle with loving my “enemies”. And I’ve also found it excruciatingly hard and painful to forgive some hurts.

But one thing that has helped in this is meditating on the word of God and reminding myself of who I am. Continue reading

And For This Reason, I Celebrate Christ Once Again

Celebrate Christ
About a week ago, I wrote about the yoke of perfection that we Christians have put upon ourselves.

And a few days ago, I reacted in anger towards something that someone said to me. Spoke and acted in pride. Something around the lines of “how dare you say that to me/think you know better than me. Was insensitive with my words, among other things.

After praying about it and thinking deeply about the whole thing, I realized that I actually thought I was passed the point of reacting in a certain way or doing certain things since I’m now in Christ.

I felt ashamed and sort of disappointed in myself. I saw my weaknesses and where I went wrong and I was discouraged. I cannot explain what the shame and guilt I felt has made me believe about myself or even kept me from doing.

This is obviously one of the yoke of perfection or should I say perfectionism I still struggle with. Wanting to reach the point where I will no longer react to or deal with certain situations in my flesh. When humility will be a garment I have on daily. When I will be perfect in action, thought and speech. Continue reading

Suitable Covering For Shame

Covering for Shame

As humans, we tend to believe that we are capable of covering up our shame.

And of course we do try, we cover it up with flimsy things that can never last, things that have no substance and will soon fade away.

We cover up our shame with lies, denial and/or blaming others.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized their nakedness and this gave birth to shame. Not only did they realize that they were naked but they went on to believe that they could cover up their shame with clothing made out of fig leaves.

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:7)

But God had a better plan. Continue reading