March 31, 2020

Hope After Failure

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 31, 2020

Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire, they asked him again, ‘You’re not one of his disciples are you? He denied it, saying, ‘No, I am not.’ John 18:25

I wonder how Peter felt after he denied Christ. We know from Scripture he was grieved by his actions, but I wonder if in the days after his denial and before Jesus’ resurrection, that he slapped himself silly with labels:  

Unfaithful. 

Coward. 

Liar. 

Failure.

And, if he wore these labels, I can’t help but think that he would have thought, “I can’t.” 

“I can’t be faithful.” 

“I can’t be courageous.” 

“I can’t follow God.” 

“I can’t do what’s right.” 

“I can’t, because I’m a total failure.” 

This condemnation isn’t unlike what many of us experience after a time of blowing it. We blame ourselves. We beat ourselves up. We identify with the failure, and instead of saying, “I messed up” we say, “I am a mess.” 

In the aftermath of failure, another person may say we’re bad, so we agree with them. We make a big mistake at work, so we label ourselves as incompetent. We disappoint our kids, so we decide we’re a horrible parent—and we believe we’re always destined to fail. 

But God has some different things to say if you believe you are a failure, never to succeed again. 

First, He says that just because you blew it back there doesn’t mean you can’t succeed now. God is always in the business of transforming His kids. He takes us from glory to glory. Who you are now is not who you will be, and who you are now is not who you were back there. You’re wiser. You’re stronger. You’re learning. You’re growing. You can make different choices. So, give yourself permission to stop living from an old paradigm about yourself. You are not a failure. The Lord has removed your labels. You are new, and in Him there is no condemnation. There is only moving forward in love.

Next, He says He has empowered you. Your ability to accomplish anything comes from Him. When you are striving to succeed on your own to prove your value, you do not realize who you are in Him. You are empowered by God! Remember your power does not come from you. In Him you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28). Everything that is, is rooted in Him, so lean on Him. Let Him empower you.

Finally, He says that shame is not your portion. A label will make you live in the past, and drag the shame you feel from what happened back there into the future. But God says, “Shame is not your portion.” The Lord sees you as justified and perfect. In Him, you are unconditionally loved and fully supported. You are his beloved child.

Okay, friend. It’s time to rip off those labels and live according to your identity in Him. 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

Prayer

Lord, thank you that my failures do not define me, and my mess ups don’t mean I am a mess. You are helping me learn and grow and you are changing me from glory to glory! Hallelujah! Help me learn from my sin so that I can be more like you. Amen.


Application

What labels are you wearing because of your sins, mistakes, or mess ups? Take them to the Lord and let Him tell you the truth about who you are in Him.


Related Reading

1 John 3:20; John 8:11; John 3:17


Post/Tweet today

Who you are now is not who you were, or will be—you are wiser now and hopeful of becoming better in Christ. #hope #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus


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