Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 19, 2014
For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. Proverbs 24:16
Failure is not final for the faithful—it is a stepping-stone to success. The sense of failure is an opportunity for faith to flourish and for pride to be humbled. An extreme letdown allows the Lord to lift up the down hearted and hold them close for comfort. Failure facilitates a crystal clear focus on God and His game plan. It is a bridge to blessing.
Have you failed to be a good provider? To communicate caringly? Follow through with your commitments? Find a job? Love well? Become a consistent Christian? If so, join the club of everyone that breathes. We all struggle from time to time with unholy habits that drag us down and try to keep us there. But, by God’s grace we will stand up, firm in Him.
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13a).
A faith untested is fragile and weak, but a faith forged out of failure is stable and strong. God’s goal is not for you to do away with discomfort or remove all remnants of risk. His heart is to have the heart of His children—for without their heart—He only employs their mind. Your setbacks set you up for intimacy with your heavenly Father.
A challenging relationship or a botched business deal are opportunities to move your religion from sterile academics to an engaging relationship with your Creator. You can go through a religious routine and say the right words—but are you truly alive to the Lord? Use failure as a diving board into the deep waters of faith—connect with Christ’s care.
“The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous” (Psalm 146:8b).
Furthermore, avoid self-pity and a victim mindset when you fail to meet the expectations of the Lord and those who know you the best. Embrace your responsibilities; express godly sorrow and vow to learn from your humbling—even embarrassing experience. Perhaps you commit to a process of biblical counseling for your marriage or pre-marriage preparation. Overcoming adversity takes time, trust and tenacity—success invests in each.
“When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God” (Proverbs 14:32).
Prayer: What failure do I need to recognize, repent, take responsibility and learn from?
Related Readings: Proverbs 11:8; 28; Isaiah 45:8; Luke 18:9; 1 John 5:4
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