Tuesday, November 16, 2010


"Failure is one of life's most powerful teachers. How we handle our failures determines whether we're going to simply 'get by' in life or 'press on'." Beth Moore

I have had way too many failures to count--how about you? When I was in my twenties someone I really loved and respected called me a "quitter".  It was a cruel thing to say, but looking back now, I understand why he thought that of me. I was a quitter. I didn't want to deal with problems, emotions, difficult situations. I thought that starting over was easier then "dealing". I was in the middle of one of those starting overs when I met Jesus.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Music to my ears--I thought! Little did I know that meeting Him meant that my days of choosing to start over in difficult situations were over. The old that the scripture is talking about is the old way I handled things. The new creation that had come was the Holy Spirit in me who would show me how to "deal" in a different way. My "old" nature still chooses what seems to be the easy path--quit, start over--but the new in me shows me a different path. I can still choose the path, and many times I still choose the wrong path; but if I follow His leading my choice is to persevere in any circumstances trusting Him to somehow work them out for my good.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I know that I love Him. I know that He called me and that He has a purpose for my life that goes beyond the dreams and hopes I might be able to conceive and I know from this scripture that He says "ALL things". What I don't know sometimes when I'm in the middle of a difficult situation is how in the world He is going to work it out for my good. That's when I get tempted to run, to hide, to manipulate. When my flesh starts getting anxious and I don't feel comfortable in my circumstances or if those circumstances have been going on for so long and I don't see Him doing anything about them--when it just isn't fair, when it feels like I'm going to break...what do I do Lord?

"Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Luke 22:42

O.K., so maybe I really do want my will at first. Then I start to remember all of the times in my past when I got my will; times when it didn't line up with God's will at all. Those were the times that do not bless me or anyone I love--those are the times I regret, times I grieve, times I am ashamed. When I recall those times I can then come humbly before the Lord and really mean Luke 22:42--I can really trust Him to bring about the good in even the worst situations.

I don't want to be that quitter I was. God gave me the last completely new start I really needed the day He came into my heart. He gave me the only example I'll ever need of completing the job despite it's difficulties when He died on that cross. Our Savior finished what he began! Despite His suffering and despite His shame on the cross, Jesus was faithful. His Spirit in me gives me the power to stay the course, to finish the race, to persevere!

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

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