Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, I was talking about mistakes—how we all make mistakes. There’s a wonderful verse in the Bible—Romans 8:28, which says that God is there; we know that he is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him; they are the ones that God has chosen for his purpose.
So that must mean that even if you make mistakes, serious ones or little ones, it’s not the end of the world; you don’t need to wallow in them anymore. Give your foul-ups to God. Claim his promise that all things work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. Ephesians 1:11 says that “God always does what He plans”.
Do you ever kick yourself for your past mistakes? Try not to do it because it is unproductive, but it remains a temptation when we make a blunder that we didn’t want to do—I think many people can’t let go of the past. What is it about human beings and their inability to let the past be the past? Of course we need to learn from our mistakes, but having done so, why do we then form a weapon out of our mistakes with which to bash ourselves? Is it not bad enough that others will not allow us to forget? Must we remind ourselves of our own failures?
Nevertheless, many live their lives with little or no joy, or personal confidence because past errors have become a weight around their necks. Their past failures plague their lives and haunt their minds. The decision to move forward is often set aside because of the feeling of uncertainty and fear about their ability to make the right choices. Bound up, fearful and frustrated many do their best to just move on with life—yet they remain focused on the past.
Jesus Came to Give Us Full Life
Yet, in our relationship with Jesus Christ, we are able to lay aside our past mistakes and focus on the One who does not fail and the work that he wants to do in our lives. As Paul said, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
God is able, not only to heal and save us, but also to give personal direction and confidence to us—in spite of our mistakes. Realising that it is most often only we who are holding ourselves in bondage to past mistakes, Christ seeks to set us free from the past and give us newness of life through himself: “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest” (John 10:10).
Some are so unable or unwilling to forgive themselves they seem to sink further and further into the pit of despair and hopelessness because they have become obsessed with how they have failed in the past. The good news, however, is that we can be set free from that defeated way of thinking. In Christ, we are given a clean slate and a new opportunity to become more than we have previously been in life. In him, the past is transformed from a legacy of failure to a learning experience that we can build upon.
The Difference Faith Can Make
Can faith really make that much of a difference? Yes, I believe that it can. There is power in believing that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b) There is even greater power in allowing God’s power and the guidance of his Word to transform us. Let’s remember one more thing. When God forgives us he removes the sin forever: How far has the Lord taken our sins from us? Further than the distance from east to west. (Psalm 103:12)
Rest in God’s grace. God isn’t surprised when you fail. He knew it was going to happen. In fact, he expects it. Even if you do fail, God doesn’t stop loving you. That’s called grace. Psalm 103:14 says, “God knows what we’re made of. He remembers that we are dust.” He knows you’re just a human being. He knows your frailties.
God doesn’t expect you to be perfect. Because he knows what you’re made of. He doesn’t stop loving you when you blow it and he doesn’t stop loving you when you fail.
(To be continued in Handling Mistakes in Life – Part 3)