The Fine Art of Failure: Week 5 - Day 5

Opening Prayer

Jesus, open our minds and hearts to hear your word today.  Allow us to know your presence and hear your voice and give us the courage to follow you.

 

Read

Revelation 2: 4-5a (NIV), “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”

 

Reflect

I became a Christian when I was 15 years old and now I’m 51.  For those of you struggling with the math, that’s 36 years.  When I first got saved I was one fired-up believer.  I was bold.  I was courageous.  I was passionate.  I was enamored with the Bible and couldn’t read it or memorize it enough.  I was also full of pride and just a bit obnoxious. 

Over 36 years a lot of those exciting characteristics have faded or maybe they have just changed.  I hope that I’m wiser now and have a deeper understanding of my Jesus and my life in him.

Along this 36 year journey there have certainly been ups and down.  Many people who began this journey with me or have walked beside me along the way have abandoned their faith in Christ.  It’s disheartening at times.  Honestly, I’ve thought about walking away myself on more than one occasion but, somehow, I always come back to Peter’s words in John 6:68-69 (NIV), “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

None of this is strange.  The Israelites were God’s chosen people.  He spoke to them, appeared to them, sent angels to them, did miracles among them and defeated armies before them.  I’ve never counted, but how many times did they turn their backs on God?

 

Apply

It’s hard to walk out your faith over the long haul.  We go through tragedies, we struggle with rebellious children, we get burned by the church, we are opposed by the culture, and maybe the hardest thing on our faith, we are cursed with affluence.  Over the course of many years most of us will come to the edge of belief and peer over, wondering if it’s really true.

What do we see when we look back at the Israelites?  Well, they came back.  Each time they turned away they eventually returned.  Why did they return?  God reached out his hand to rescue them, to woo them and win them again.

Are you stumbling in your faith?  Are you peering over the edge of belief?  Are you wondering, “To whom shall I go?”  Don’t quit.  Just don’t quit.  If it’s all you have left at times, not walking away is enough.  God will reach out.  He will rescue you.  He will woo and win you again and your passion will return.  

This walk with our Jesus is not a sprint.  It’s an ultra-marathon and somehow, when it’s tough to keep going on, look to Jesus and find a way to just keep going.  Examine your life and repent and wait on the Lord who will rescue you and show you his face again.

 

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we want to know you, but we are weak and are helpless to know you unless you reveal yourself to us.  When the road before us is arid and dry and we don’t know if we want to, or even can, go on following you, reach out your hand and show your face and rescue us.

 

Terry Schneider