Trust God’s Grace When You Fail

Opening Prayer

God, I need Your grace when I fail as well as when I succeed.  Help me to realize that my sincere striving to live for You is sweet enough to overcome the bitterness of my failures.  Help me to always have the humility to ask for forgiveness and the faith to know that I am loved and forgiven.

 

Read:  Daniel 3:17–18, NIV

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

 

Reflect

Most of us really do not like to fail.  Failure is after all for losers, right?  And isn’t the road to Hell paved with good intentions.  Most of life is on a performance basis.  Those who make the grade get ahead.  It is so easy to bring these worldly modes of thinking into our spiritual life and to turn the practice of religion into an activity that is just like the rest of our life.  Worst of all, it is almost impossible to keep it together for any period of time.

Jesus said that we should think of God as our Father.  He has us here on Earth for purposes that He deliberately left vague.  We mostly think that this is a place where Jesus “Fits us for Heaven to be with Him there” as the old Christmas carol says.  It is reasonable to conclude that God wants us to work with Him and let Him, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, help us to take whatever abilities and strengths we have and use them to form our relationship with God. 

When we as parents have a child who is trying, it matters little to us how perfectly they succeed in some task we are doing together.  What really, really matters is that the child is earnestly trying.  How can our Heavenly Father be any less of a parent than we Earthly parents?

Our passage today tells the story of a flawless demonstration of faith and obedience.  Three Jewish captives of the Babylonian king refused to worship a golden idol the king had constructed and ordered everyone to fall down to and worship.  True to his word the king had the men thrown in a fiery furnace, but God saved them and honored their faith with victory.  Now that is courage.

Peter famously vowed to die for Christ at the Last Supper, but at the first challenge from a woman bystander, he denied Christ, and shamed himself in order to save his own hide.  It is a good thing too, because Peter was a strong, natural leader and Jesus made better use of Him later when He reinstated Peter in John 21, and told him to take care of the other disciples. Peter was always forceful in his desire to do well as a follower.  He just needed to mature and most especially receive the same power that is now available to all of us from the Holy Spirit.

 

Apply

Know in advance that you are going to fail in your day to day life; mostly in small ways, but sometimes in bigger ways.  Always be humble and admit failure to God, yourself and others.  Make restitution if needed and try to do better.  It’s called the bounce back method.  This method demonstrates your commitment to God and is highly pleasing to Him.

 

Closing Prayer:

Thank you, oh thank you, God that you never give up on me.  Please let me keep working to make me the best possible version of myself for your pleasure and for our eternal life together.

Terry Schneider