Monday, April 7, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 107: Failure (can be) Good

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 107, April 6, 2014
Readings: Psalm 107, Leviticus 14:1-32, Isaiah 15, Isaiah 16, 2 Corinthians 10:13-18, 2 Corinthians 11, 2 Corinthians 12:1-13

I really don't like failing. I plan, strategize and work hard to achieve success. I want my efforts to be fruitful, and not unsuccessful. I do not like wasting time. And I always feel like failure is wasted time. But there is one constant here - it all concerns me. I don't like to fail, I don't like to waste time, I want success. And suddenly, my desire sounds a lot more selfish than humble.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

I'm admittedly not keen on weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. None of them are pleasant! None of them are things I want for my life. And there are times, many times, when I plan, and scheme, and structure my life to avoid those kinds of things.

But instead of looking at every failure and every hardship as a tragedy, instead of lamenting my imperfection, I have the opportunity to look at them as a opening door for God's grace. A means to use me for His glory, rather than my own. So I am no longer relying on myself. So I am humble. So God would change other's lives, instead of me thinking that I have anything to do with it.

Am I willing to look at my challenges this way? Am I willing to put aside my desire to avoid pain, disappointment and failure so that Christ may be magnified?

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