Oct 01

Monday Cry Out – Failure


[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]While all failure hurts, there is one that I would argue hurts more than all of them combined: failing God.[/pullquote] We’re all afraid of that word, aren’t we? And it’s not just the word that’s scary. It’s the whole bundle that comes with that word. It’s the gut wrenching impact that something you attempted and dreamed about didn’t succeed. It’s the disappointment. It’s the embarrassment. It’s the “I told you so’s” that make your skin crawl.

Other less instantaneous events also pop up with failure. Thoughts of doubt creep in on everything you do. Wonders of whether people will trust you again. Questioning every action and thought. Dwelling on the past and thinking through the “what if’s”.

Everyone has experienced these emotions and thoughts associated with failure. Some more than others and if one is not careful, they can easily fall into a pit of despair and depression. While all failure hurts, there is one that I would argue hurts more than all of them combined: failing God.

Throughout my short existence on Earth I have failed time and time again, but none burn more brightly in my dark past than those moments I failed God. Whether it be blatantly sinning, not doing something I felt God leading me to do or losing my cool under pressure these moments, if dwelled upon, cause me far more pain than anything else. Knowing that I said through my prayers and songs that I would always follow Him, or wherever he would lead me I would go and then in the next breath doing the exact opposite was crushing to my soul. And it was that exact moment that I failed that hurt most, but it was later upon reflection and realization that I had a brief moment to be a bright light to the world for God and I snuffed it out.

Thankfully, yes thankfully, the Bible is full of people who failed God. Why thankfully? Well, because these men and women that failed God were still heralded as pillars of faith and they showed the amazing redemption and grace found through Christ Jesus.

Take Simon Peter for example. Nothing more than a fisherman, Jesus called him to be his disciple. Learning from the very Son of God, Peter walked with Jesus daily, even on water. He was one of the few that saw the transfiguration of Christ. He was the first disciple to preach on the day of Pentecost. He witnessed the many miracles Jesus performed and even attempted to defend Jesus from being arrested. At the last supper, Peter even swore to follow Jesus to prison and even death.

Despite this public profession of faith, Peter still failed Jesus. Not just once, but three times in a very short time frame.

In Luke 22:54 we find Peter trailing behind the guards who arrested Jesus, keeping an eye on his Lord. After some time had passed, people began to gather in a courtyard outside the high priest’s home and they built a fire, which Peter joined the crowd of people around. During this time, three different people walked by and pointed him out of the crowd and accused him of being a follower of Jesus. His reply, gaining force and bitterness with each accusation was “I do not know him!” It wasn’t until after the foretold rooster crowed that Peter had realized what he had done: he had disowned the very Lord and Savior he said he would be willing to die for. In Luke 22:62 we see Peter leave the crowd and weep bitterly.

I’ve been there. I’ve told God through prayer that I would love anyone he put before me and then in the next hour found myself yelling and screaming at one of his children. I promised to lead worship through playing the guitar and singing and in that very week blew up at an event organizer for calling me last minute to do a show. And in those times deep regret and pain followed. I felt as though a part of me had been ripped out. I felt that God would never use me again. And in part he didn’t. After my outburst at the event coordinator, I didn’t lead worship for four years.

But God is gracious and he is faithful and he is forgiving. Not only did he forgive Peter three times in John 21:15-17, he also went on to use Peter in great and mighty ways. Peter went on to be a driving force for the early church, speaking every where and helping lead thousands to Christ. Peter summed up his life not by his failures, but in the faithfulness of God. He wrote in 2 Peter 1:3-11:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Peter knew that the cure to all his failures was God’s faithfulness to him. The more he understood God’s faithfulness to him, the more his faithfulness to God grew.

I have realized this in my life, although not completely as the Lord is still working on me. I have seen God redeem me and use me in ways I never thought possible in the time since my failures. His faithfulness to me is overwhelming and because of that I’ve seen my faithfulness to him grow. I hope that today, no matter what you’ve done, no matter if you’ve accepted Christ or not, that you would begin to expand your knowledge of God and begin to uncover his faithfulness to you. My prayer is to see those that have failed restored and raised up to do great and mighty things for God!

God, thank you so much for your faithfulness to us. We don’t deserve it. Thank you for sending your Son to die for us and forgiving our sins. You are so awesome God. Thank you for second, third, fourth and many more chances. Amen.