Written by :   Zac Poonen Categories :   Youth Struggling
WFTW Body: 

There are many brothers and sisters who feel that because they have sinned and failed God at some time in their past lives, therefore they cannot fulfill God's perfect plan for their lives now.

The message that God is trying to get through to us right from the opening pages of the Bible is that God can take a man who has failed and make something glorious out of him and still make him fulfill God's perfect plan for his life. This is because even the failure may have been part of God's perfect plan to teach him a few unforgettable lessons. This is impossible for human logic to grasp, because we know God so very little. It is only broken men and women whom God can use. And one way He breaks us is through repeated failures.

Part of the apostle Peter's training for leadership was failure. The Lord used Peter's failure to break him.

One of the biggest problems that God has with us is to bless us in such a way that the blessing does not puff us up with pride. To get victory over anger and then to be proud of it, is to fall into a far deeper pit than the one we were in! God has to keep us humble in victory. Genuine victory over sin is always accompanied by the deepest humility. This is where repeated failures have a part to play in destroying our self-confidence so that we are convinced that victory over sin is not possible apart from God's enabling grace. Then, when we do get victory, we can never boast about it. Further, when we have failed repeatedly ourselves, we can never despise another who fails. We can sympathise with those who fall, because we have come to know the weakness of our own flesh, through our own innumerable falls. We can "deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since we ourselves are beset with weakness" (Heb. 5:3).

Nothing is impossible for God - not even to bring us into His perfect will, after we have failed miserably and repeatedly. Only our unbelief can hinder Him. If you say, "But I have messed up things so many times. It is impossible for God now to bring me into His perfect plan", then it will be impossible for God, because YOU cannot believe in what He can do for you. But Jesus said that nothing is impossible for God to do for us - if only we believe. "Be it done to you according to your faith", is God's law in all matters (Matt. 9:29). We will get what we have faith for. If we believe that something is impossible for God to do for us, then it will never be fulfilled in our lives. On the other hand you will discover at the judgment seat of Christ that another believer who had made a greater mess of his life than you, nevertheless fulfilled God's perfect plan for his life - just because he believed that God could pick up the broken pieces of his life and make something very good out of it. What regret there will be in your life in that day, when you discover that it was not your failures (however many they may have been) that frustrated God's plan in your life, but your unbelief!

The story of the prodigal son, who wasted so many years, shows that God gives His best even to failures. The father said, "Quickly bring out the best robe", for one who had let him down so badly. This is the message of the gospel - redemption and a new beginning, not just once, but again and again - for God never gives up on anyone. The parable of the estate-owner who went out hiring labourers (Matt. 20:1-16) also teaches the same thing. People who were hired at the eleventh hour were the ones to be rewarded first. In other words, those who had wasted 90% (11/12th) of their lives, doing nothing of eternal value, could still do something glorious for God with the remaining 10% of their lives. This is a tremendous encouragement to all who have failed. "The reason the Son of God was manifested was to undo (dissolve) the works the devil has done (1 Jn. 3:8 Amplified Bible). That means that Jesus came to untie all the knots that there are in our lives. Picture it like this: All of us started at babyhood with a nice ball of string. But by now that string has been knotted up with ten thousand knots, and we do not have any hope that we can ever untie those knots. We are discouraged and depressed as we look at our lives. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus has come to untie every one of those knots. You say, "That is impossible!". Well then, it will be done to you according to your faith. It will be impossible in your case. But I hear someone else whose life is worse than yours, saying, "Yes, I believe that God will do that in me". To him too it will be according to his faith. In his life, God's perfect plan will be fulfilled. In Jer. 18:1-6, God spoke His word to Jeremiah through a practical illustration. Jeremiah was asked to go to a potter's house, and there he saw the potter trying to make a vessel. But the vessel "was spoiled in the hand of the potter". So what did the potter do? "He remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make". Then came the application: "Can I not, O.............. deal with you as this potter does?", was the Lord's question (v. 6). (Fill in your name in those dotted lines, and that would be God's question to you). If there is a godly sorrow in your life for all your failures, then even if your sins are like scarlet or red like crimson, not only will they be as white as snow - as promised under the old covenant (Isa. 1:18), but God promises under the new covenant, "not to remember your sins any more" (Heb. 8:12). Whatever your blunders or failures, you can make a new beginning with God. And even if you have made a thousand new beginnings in the past and have come to failure, you can still make the 1001st new beginning today. God can still make something glorious out of your life. While there is life, there is hope. So, never fail to trust God. He cannot do many mighty works for many of His children, not because they have failed Him in the past, but because they will not trust Him now. Let us then "give glory to God by being strong in faith" (Rom. 4:20), trusting Him in the days to come for the things that we considered impossible up until now. All people - young and old - can have hope, no matter how much they may have failed in the past, if only they will acknowledge their failures, be humble and trust God. Thus we can all learn from our failures and go on to fulfill God's perfect plan for our lives. And in the ages to come, He can show us forth to others as examples of what He could do with those whose lives were total failures. In that day He will show what He could do in us, through the "surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:7).