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Q. My Life Appears To Be Such A Failure. I’ve Made So Many Mistakes, And I Seem To Be Paying For It Now. Nothing Seems To Be Going Right. What Hope Do I Have?

Answer:

Dear Friend,

Let me suggest several perspectives from which you should reflect on your struggles in life.

1. First, Reflect On The Good And Gracious Character Of God.

So Moses cut out two tablets of stone like the first; early in the morning he went up to Mount Sinai, just as the LORD had commanded him, and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone. 5 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the LORD by name. 6 The LORD passed by before him and proclaimed: “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, 7 keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But he by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 34:4-7, NET).

Nehemiah 9 (all)

They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. You did not abandon them (Nehemiah 9:17).

Psalm 103

The LORD is compassionate and merciful; he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love. 9 He does not always accuse, and does not stay angry. 10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve. 11 For as the skies are high above the earth, so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers (Psalm 103:8-11).

2. Second, Be Certain That You Have Embraced The Gift Of Salvation That God Has Graciously Provided In The Person And Work Of Jesus. By Faith In Jesus Your Sins Are Forgiven (Past, Present, Future) And You Have A New Identity.

And although you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you formerly lived according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest… 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you are saved!– 6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them (Ephesians 2:1-10).

For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5 he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).

If we accept the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, because this is the testimony of God that he has testified concerning his Son. 10 (The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has testified concerning his Son.) 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son (1 John 5:9-11).

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away– look, what is new has come! 18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

3. Third, Once One Has Trusted In Christ For Salvation Recognize That There Is Nothing That Can Separate Them From The Love Of Christ And The Salvation He Accomplished.

My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand (John 10:27-29).

And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all– how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:28-39).

You squeeze me in from behind and in front; you place your hand on me. 6 Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it. 7 Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence? 8 If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there. If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be. 9 If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn, and settle down on the other side of the sea, 10 even there your hand would guide me, your right hand would grab hold of me (Psalm 139:5-10).

4. Fourth, Recognize That Not All Suffering Is Punishment For Our Sin, But Rather It Can Be The Gracious Work Of Our Heavenly Father, Training Us In Righteousness.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. 6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.” 7 Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8 But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. 9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? 10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. 11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed (Hebrews 12:1-13).

See Job 1-2; 1 Peter 2:18-25; 4:1-19

5. Fifth, Posessing Salvation And The Gift Of The Holy Spirit Does Not Mean That All Suffering In This Life Will Cease, For We, Like The Entire Creation, Will Suffer And Groan Until The Coming Of Christ.

For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility– not willingly but because of God who subjected it– in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance (Romans 8:18-25).

6. Sixth, The Holy Spirit Ministers To Us In Our Suffering And Groaning, But He Does Not Take Our Difficulties Away.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will (Romans 8:26-27).

7. Seventh, God Is In Complete Control, And Is Using Our Trials And Tribulations To Accomplish His Good And Perfect Purposes.

And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).

8. Eighth, We Need To View The Difficulties Of This Earthly Life In The Light Of Eternity.

When I tried to make sense of this, it was troubling to me. 17 Then I entered the precincts of God’s temple, and understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Surely you put them in slippery places; you bring them down to ruin. 19 How desolate they become in a mere moment! Terrifying judgments make their demise complete! 20 They are like a dream after one wakes up. O Lord, when you awake you will despise them. 21 Yes, my spirit was bitter, and my insides felt sharp pain. 22 I was ignorant and lacked insight; I was as senseless as an animal before you. 23 But I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me by your wise advice, and then you will lead me to a position of honor. 25 Whom do I have in heaven but you? I desire no one but you on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may grow weak, but God always protects my heart and gives me stability. 27 Yes, look! Those far from you die; you destroy everyone who is unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, God’s presence is all I need. I have made the sovereign LORD my shelter, as I declare all the things you have done (Psalm 73:16-28).

For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body. 12 As a result, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 But since we have the same spirit of faith as that shown in what has been written, “I believed; therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak. 14 We do so because we know that the one who raised up Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus and will bring us with you into his presence. 15 For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace that is including more and more people may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison 18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this earthly house we groan, because we desire to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed, after we have put on our heavenly house, we will not be found naked. 4 For we groan while we are in this tent, since we are weighed down, because we do not want to be unclothed, but clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. 6 Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord– 7 for we live by faith, not by sight. 8 Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him (2 Corinthians 4:11-5:9).

9. Ninth, The Angels Are Watching.

To me– less than the least of all the saints– this grace was given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ 9 and to enlighten everyone about God’s secret plan– a secret that has been hidden for ages in God who has created all things. 10 The purpose of this enlightenment is that through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ’s faithfulness. 13 For this reason I ask you not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, which is your glory (Ephesians 3:8-13).

10. Tenth, Satan Is Our Adversary And Accuser, Seeking Our Destruction, While Jesus Is Our Advocate And Deliverer.

Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering. 10 And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him belongs the power forever. Amen (1 Pet. 5:8-11).

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the ruling authority of his Christ, have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, the one who accuses them day and night before our God, has been thrown down (Revelation 12:10).

(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, 2 and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world (1 John 2:1-2).

11. Eleventh, God Can Use Our Failures To Prepare Us For Ministry.

“Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know me” (Luke 22:31-34; see also 1 Kings 19; then there is John Mark in Acts 15:37-41; Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11).

12. Twelfth, Consider The Fact That God’s Timing Is Not Ours. God Is Not In A Hurry. It Took Thousands Of Years Before The Arrival Of The Promised Messiah (Genesis 3:15; 13:15; 17:8; Galatians 3:16). Look At How Long God Took To Increase Abraham’s Faith Till He Was Willing To Sacrifice Of His Son, Isaac (Genesis 11-22). Look At How Long It Took To Bring Jacob To The Place He Should Be.

Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges 4 and saying, “Where is his promised return? For ever since our ancestors died, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately suppress this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water. 6 Through these things the world existing at that time was destroyed when it was deluged with water. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. 9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. 11 Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness, 12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God? Because of this day, the heavens will be burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze! 13 But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides (2 Peter 3:3-13).

13. Thirteenth, Christians Will Fail, But God Is Always Faithful.

Even if he trips, he will not fall headlong, for the LORD holds his hand (Psalm 37:24).

The LORD supports all who fall, and lifts up all who are bent over (Psalm 145:14).

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13).

Finally, In The Final Analysis It Is The Perfect And Finished Work Of Christ On Which Our Salvation, Sanctification, And Security Rest, And Not On Our Good Works Or Performance.

Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 7:24-8:1).

You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! 2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? (Galatians 3:1-3)

For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

We Will Persevere Through Life’s Trials And Reach Heaven, Not Because We Have Performed So Well, But Because God Looks At Us Through The Righteousness Of His Son.

Related Topics: Failure

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