Failures In The Hands Of A Merciful God
Did you know that most of the men and women whose names are mentioned in the Bible were failures? Read the accounts of their lives and you’ll discover that they sinned against God, disappointed Him, doubted Him, challenged Him, grieved Him or let Him down when He needed them most. Yet, He never abandoned them or gave up on them. Instead, He forgave their sin, worked with them through their weaknesses, overlooked their murmuring, doubt & rebellion, and gave them opportunity after opportunity to get things right.
- Take Abraham. He lost faith in God, distrusted God, lied and cheated but God worked in him to turn him into a blessing to all the people of the world.
- Take Moses. He argued with God, doubted, complained and disobeyed God but God used him to deliver Israel from captivity.
- Take Jacob. He cheated, lied and stole. He had more faith in his own abilities than in God but God wrestled him down, won him over and made him the father of a nation.
- Take David. He committed adultery, had his most loyal commander murdered, sinned against God but God forgave him and turned a sinner into a friend of God.
- Take Peter. He betrayed Jesus and ran away but God forgave him, restored him and empowered him to shepherd the newly established church.
- Take Paul. He persecuted and killed Christians but God reached out to him and made him one of the greatest apostles.
He called beggars, prostitutes and the poor His friends, His brothers and sisters. He ate with sinners, stayed with despised tax collectors and mixed freely with the outcasts.
He once looked out upon a crowd of poor and destitute people, the kind of people the high society of His day would have dismissed as scum of the earth, and called them “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” He saw beyond their social standing, their failures and disappointments, their mistakes and missed opportunities, to what God had created them to be, what they could be and would be in Him. He gave them a purpose and a destiny and told them they were valued and loved, that there would always be a place in the Kingdom for people like them.
None of them deserved His mercy and love and forgiveness. The world would have pilloried them, condemned them and thrown them out but God reached out to them and gave them a second chance. He worked with them to make them better than they were. He accepted them as they were but did not leave them that way. He brought out the best in them and lifted them up upon His own shoulders.
And because of that, every one of us can look to Him. We all sin, make mistakes, stumble and fall, doubt God, lose faith, give up hope but it’s not the end because we are failures in the hands of a merciful God. He’ll work in us, with us and through us to redeem, to restore, to rebuild, to revive, to redress, to repair, to replenish, to regain, to reaffirm, to reclaim, to recover that which God has purposed for us.
So if you feel like a failure right now, if you feel you’ve messed your life up, feel there’s no hope left for you, do not despair or give up because there’s a place for you in the hands of a merciful God, because He came especially for failures like you and me.
To dwell on the past simply causes failure in the present. While you are sitting down and bemoaning the past and regretting all the things you have not done, you are crippling yourself and preventing yourself from working in the present. Is that Christianity? Of course it is not. ~ Martyn Llyod-Jones