We are all failures. Ever since Adam and Eve, when sin entered the world, no one has ever escaped failure. Sure, we may have succeeded at some things, eventually. But our failure is unavoidable.
This should make me anxious or afraid or sad. But it doesn’t. And you know why? Because of God’s grace. No matter where we have failed, we know that we are forgiven and that we can start and try again. We know this because it is THE reason Jesus came down and died for us.
We have all experienced the ultimate failure, the failure to be perfect. And as Peter told us, we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Because of this, we should all pay the ultimate price. The second death. Hell.
But God knew this. And He prepared an out.
I am a horrible Christian.
We all know what it is that God wants from us. We know what he expects. In fact, He has given us an entire book full of advice.
But every day I fail. I cannot complete an entire day of His vision of righteousness. Goodness. Sometimes, I can’t even complete an entire hour. I try but ultimately I fail.
One of my biggest struggles is with anger. I get frustrated too easily and then completely lose it. I’m tired, overwhelmed, and lost. And I get angry. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
As mothers, we have a giant role to play in the lives of our children. We not only must care for their physical health but their mental and spiritual health, as well. And that is a lot. Especially when we know we must care for ourselves as well.
But my children will often get nagging instead of instruction because of my selfishness. I want things done MY way on MY time. And I forget that I am their guide. God gave me these children so I could teach them HIS ways and that things happen on HIS time.
So I fail. Time and time again, I fail. It can be so hard and demoralizing to realize that I will never be exactly what God wants me to be. I will continue to fall short.
And this should depress me. Anyone who recognizes that ultimate defeat would be left with the conclusion, “Since I know I will never succeed, I might as well give up.”
But you shouldn’t. And there is only one reason why. Jesus.
As we read the Bible in its entirety, we can see it two different ways:
- As an instruction manual;
- And as a comfort when we fail at those instructions.
Beginning back in Genesis when God first created Adam and Eve, the first thing He did was give them instructions. Genesis 1:28 are God’s first words to His new creation. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (KJV)
He continues with more instruction in Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (KJV)
And we all know what happened after that. They failed. Just like us, they were given instructions on how to live and they couldn’t follow them.
And because of that first failure, we have all fallen.
But also as a result of this first failure, we were given the honor of also seeing God’s first act of grace. Instead of allowing them to eat of the tree of life, he banned them from the Garden of Eden. And this ultimately saved their souls. Had they eaten of the tree of life and become immortal, they would have been forced to live their lives in continual sin. There would have been no chance for redemption.
Our Failure, God’s Grace
And this leads us directly to present day. This first failure and this first act of grace was just the beginning of the human story.
The first generations after Adam failed so miserably that God destroyed the entire earth with a flood. But He also saved Noah, his family, and all the animals on the ark. Once again showing His mercy and grace. Without the ark, the story of God’s creation would have been over. And pretty quickly.
But with a simple boat, God forgave mankind and gave them another chance.
When they failed again. Most of the stories in the Old Testament are simply about this simple dynamic. Failures and Grace.
After God rescues the Israelites from their lives as slaves in Egypt, they fail. They complain, refuse to trust the Lord (even though they saw first hand His power), and build statues to Baal.
But He leads them to the Promised Land anyway.
Over and over, we read the story of the Israelites falling away from God, being attacked by enemies, BUT being saved.
And then in the New Testament, we see God’s ultimate act of grace. In John 3:16 we are told, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV) He sends His only Son down to Earth to suffer as man, die, and be resurrected. All so that we do not have to face that second death. Hell.
Our failures do not need to depress us. We do not ever need to be resigned to failure. And all because Jesus paid the ultimate price for us when He died on the cross and rose again three days later.
When we believe on Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we need never worry again about failing. We can wake up each morning with the assurance that we are saved, no matter how much we fail.
And this is reassuring to a horrible Christian like me.