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From the Director

God Redeems Failures

   Everyone has failed, it’s just a matter of frequency and severity. We are dysfunctional people, from dysfunctional families, raising dysfunctional children, who will raise dysfunctional children. Universal dysfunction is true of every person in the Bible except one, Jesus Christ. Therefore, every time God chooses to use a person, it is someone who has failed and/or is a failure. That means there is hope for God to use anyone no matter what their failure(s) are!

   

   It is impossible for you to have failed to the point God can’t or won’t use you. GOD doesn’t decide to use you based on your resume. He uses people based on His will, the redemptive blood of His Son Jesus, and the power of The Holy Spirit.

 

  Can/will God use you? Consider some of those God used and their resumes. God used each of them, because of their failure, to show us there is hope to be used by Him!

  

   Abraham was a liar; Joseph was an arrogant daddy’s boy (Genesis 37:2, Genesis 37:3, Genesis 37:5-11); Moses was a murderer with anger issues; David committed adultery and murder; Jonah was a racist; Peter cursed Jesus and was a hypocrite; Thomas was a doubter; Paul was a murderer; All The Apostles abandoned Jesus

 

Consider the Apostles: 

   One Jesus chose was an anarchist {Simon the Zealot}, another was a despised tax collector {Matthew}, a third couldn’t control his temper {Peter}, and one was a thief who betrayed Him {Judas}. Then Jesus picked the Apostle who denied Him three times to lead God’s people (Peter). Jesus chose a serial killer and persecutor of The Church to write 1/3 of the New Testament (Paul). 

 

   In Scripture some were placed in difficult situations for a reason. “Just because we don’t see how something can be good doesn’t mean it isn’t good” (Tim Keller). Does God use adversity to accomplish His will? Consider...

   

  • Joseph was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery… twice, falsely accused of rape, sent to prison, and a promise to EOS him was forgotten. All took place over the course of 17 years. When his brothers who caused all this came to him, he forgave them.  
  • Daniel was a teenager when the Babylonians destroyed his home. He was enslaved and taken to Babylon. There he encountered opposition by the ruling class to the point of having him thrown into prison with lions to be killed. ASIDE: Three of Daniel’s friends were thrown into a fiery furnace because of faith in Jehovah God.   
  • Jonah realized his disobedience to God’s call to preach in Nineveh when he ended up in a storm… on a boat about to sink… and the sailors threw him overboard. Then God appointed a great fish to swallow him where he spent three days in its belly.   
  • Paul describes the difficulties of his life because he served Jesus. These severe trials are found in 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. Paul’s adversities BECAUSE he served Jesus will surprise you.    
  • When John The Apostle was in his 90s, he was exiled to The Isle of Patmos for preaching about Jesus. This island wasn’t much more than a rock in the Mediterranean Sea and must have been a difficult life for such an aged man.   
  • And don’t forget Jesus! Jesus NEVER sinned in thought or word or deed. He is the only person EVER who kept God’s Law perfectly. He never did anything wrong. Ever. And what happened to Him? Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Don’t think following Jesus is easy, it isn’t.

 

Here’s what this can mean for you: 

   Just because you have failed does not mean you cannot be forgiven, restored, and used by God for His glory and your reward. Just because you have had adversity in life does NOT mean God doesn’t love you and/or have a purpose for your life. Your life resume doesn’t define you. It is God’s pronouncement of who you are in Him that determines your worth. Consider Romans 8:31...


   "If God is for us (You), who can be against us (You)? 32 He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us (You) all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us (You). 35 Who shall separate us (You) from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 37 No, in all these things we (You) are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (You). 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us (You) from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."


Read that again. Drive it deep into your soul. Then believe God from the following Scriptures.


Philippians 1:6

   "I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Philippians 2:13

   "It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

Romans 8:28 

   "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…"

  

   God does not leave a believer’s redemption to chance. He wills it (Romans 8:29). God wills every believer to become more like Jesus. It will happen without any possibility of failure. The phrase in Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good” is important to rightly understand. “All things” encompasses ALL THINGS… not only the events of your life, but all the events of everyone’s life! This is true for you, God is powerfully at work in your life and in you. I certain because of Philippians 1:6 and 2:13. Read again slowly.


Philippians 1:6 

   "I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Philippians 2:13 

   "It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."


“God’s good pleasure” in Philippians 2:13 is conformity to Christ of Romans 8:29 and is what “the good” is from Romans 8:28.

 

Conclusion:

  You may think your mistakes have disqualified you from being used by God. You may think you are beyond being forgiven. You may think your past is too horrible for God to use. If you think those, you are wrong. God will use everyone who responds to His call. God calling you. Will you surrender your life to Him, to be used by Him, in whatever way He deems best? If your answers are yes, I can tell you these things. Jesus said…


John 10:10 

   "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

John 14:27 

   "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Ask yourself: “What Can God Do?” The answer is in Ephesians 3:20-21...

  

   "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

 

Blessings,

Ron Ethridge

Director of Journey  

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