When I arrived at church one Sunday morning, I noticed the sermon was on failure. “Swimming in failure” were the exact words.
As I read the title I made a little mental note that ‘I’m the have it all together kind of gal,’ who doesn’t care for the word failure, not one teeny, tiny, little bit.
The pastor opened his message with a storytelling scenario, using a suitcase for illustration. As he removed the items from inside he explained what had gone wrong with each one.
Isn’t it just like us to pack away our failures for safe keeping instead of letting them go?
Well my perfectionist, overachieving, over the top, get it done kind of attitude, identified with the message that morning. I’ve always planned, prepared, and prayed my way through this life, seeking His will above my own. And while I know I won’t get everything I desire, I’m very hard on myself when the let down or disappointment comes.
But God doesn’t want me to wallow in what doesn’t work out, He wants me to rejoice in what’s to come. He doesn’t want my human side to nurse my wounds, He wants my spiritual side to remind me what I already know~
that I belong to an awesome God who protects me, cares for me, chooses the best path for me, and loves me, UNCONDITIONALLY. And because I place my faith and trust in Him, my soul is filled with a deep and abiding JOY. Those are two things I can count on with God: His loving me no matter what and the joy He brings to my life.
Jeremiah 31:3 tells us, “I know my God loves me with an everlasting love,” and Romans 5:8 says, ‘But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I always try to be real with people–in other words, no sugar coating the setbacks and failures. They happen. And they happen many times beyond our control. But through these situations, I’m going to own the setbacks, praise the learning experiences, and do my best to release them from my heart. You see, If I’m going to come out on the other side joy filled and moving forward, then I have no room for excess baggage.
And God’s word makes it so clear in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Does your joy reflect what you know is biblical truth? Do you know that God’s love is unconditional, everlasting, and given to you over and over again? I pray that you are overwhelmed by the Spirit and blessed with both many times over.
I’ll be praying for you in the week ahead.
*This post first appeared on Faithfully Following Ministries for my friend, Jodie Barrett.