FAILURE NEED NOT BE FATAL! The old year, 2017, is about to pass and a new year will be upon us with all the hope and great expectations we can envision. As Christians reviewing the soon to be gone year we know our sins and failures of this current year. We know how we have failed and sinned against ourselves, others and most of all against our God. For some they will be living with the results of these sins and failures for some time to come. And for some these failures will cause anguish of soul and despair. But God is a gracious God and He has assured us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV) What a flood of joy and relief those words bring if we follow what they say and encourage us to do. The failures of 2017 do not need to follow us into 2018 causing anguish of soul and fractured fellowship with God.
The Word of God reminds us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 NIV) “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” (Romans 8:9b NIV) Satan will do His best to use our failures of 2017 to hamper our usefulness for God in 2018. Satan will try to fill our mind will overwhelming thoughts of failure and our life with major obstacles of temptation but we know that Jesus is greater than the one who is in the world and Jesus will provide victory for us today, in 2018, and beyond.
A true Christian is indwelt with the Spirit of God and we belong to Christ. Jesus has already died on the cross and payed for our sins and because of that and our relationship to God we are not under God’s condemnation. Do we grieve God because of our failures? Yes, we do. But God is loving and forgiving of our failures and as a loving Father there may be need of chastisement for His children, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” (Hebrews 12:7-8 NIV)
So the good news is that God loves us and will use our failures in 2017, if brought before Him and confessed, as items of training for 2018. We do not want to repeat our failures but rather to focus on how we can best honor and glorify God in 2018. And we do not want to dwell on our failures of 2017 so that they paralyze us in 2018. As Jesus said, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34b NIV) So take care of what you need to take care of to finish 2017 well and plan ahead to make 2018 a great journey through life together with God and others. And remember FAILURE NEED NOT BE FATAL!