That Rotten Feeling When We Fail God
Have you ever been totally disheartened because you’ve stumbled and failed God? It’s a terrible feeling!
And what makes things worse is when we get the wrong idea about pleasing God …
… imagining that it’s something like winning at that addictive game Angry Birds. If you succeed at one level then it’s up to the next. The smarter we get, the more we hone our skills, the further we advance.
The “onward & upward” model of Kingdom advancement. Great idea. Fits well with our worldly addiction to success.
Only problem is … you won’t find it in the Bible.
Last time I checked, it was the poor in spirit who owned the kingdom of heaven, and the meek who would inherit the earth. And in any case, have you noticed how every time we get to thinking that we’re really getting our act together, how readily we stumble and fall flat on our face?
Pride really does come before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Don’t get me wrong. We’re meant to grow in our maturity in Christ; in perseverance; in wisdom; in power. But growing in Christ is so much more about going deeper than climbing higher.
And today’s post is about this – reminding those who’ve been loving God with all they are, those who’ve been living that sacrificial Jesus walk, taking up their cross each day … and those who may have stumbled along the way recently, those who are so disheartened by their sin, that God’s mercies are new every morning.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22,23)
I’m human just like you. I know what it is to live my life with all my heart for Jesus and then to fall short through some stupid sin … and to be so disappointed with myself.
How could I have done that? How could I have failed God like that?
And then we’re ashamed and we’re afraid and we’re slow to come to God for forgiveness. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, right?!
Today I just want to encourage you if you’ve found yourself in that place recently that …
If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (but) if we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:9,10)
Here’s the thing – grace and mercy are only grace and mercy when they’re not deserved. If we deserved them, they’d be an entitlement. But since we don’t, they aren’t … and so call we call them grace and mercy instead.
God wants us close. That’s why He sent Jesus to die for you (and me) on the cross. That’s the measure of how much He longs to have us close; how much He yearns to eliminate that barrier of sin that keeps us from Him.
And the price He paid for our sin is so much greater, so infinitely greater, than the fullest extent of our sin, that we need never, ever be afraid of casting ourselves completely on the mercy of God and relying totally on the grace that we have through faith in Jesus alone.
The whole point of God’s grace and His mercy is that we are totally undeserving of them.
So if you’re hanging back in shame and disappointment – wake up! God is just dying to forgive you! In fact, I couldn’t put it any better than this young man, who listened to one of our radio programs a while ago in Melbourne:
I’m only a new Christian and I’ve been with the Lord probably about 10 weeks and I’d been going great guns – and then I had a night when I went out drinking and I told my friend I wasn’t sure if I could be a Christian anymore. I felt real terrible about it and I thought I’d really blown the whole thing with God.
It’s only when you came on the radio tonight that I realised that’s why Jesus died for me. I want to say God bless you guys and thank God for His grace. God bless ya man, God bless ya. It was really awesome tonight.
May you too be blessed as you cast yourself on the mercy of God afresh today and know His forgiveness and peace in your heart!
In the grip of His grace,
P.S. If you’ve struggled to come to grips with God’s grace, or perhaps He’s taught you something about His forgiveness, then please post a comment below and share it with the rest of us. We’d love to hear your experiences and learn through you!