Savoring the Gospel When You Fail

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There’s nothing like failure to make you treasure the Gospel.  I most savor the Gospel when I am most aware of my depravity and continued, seemingly constant need.  It was one of those days, today.  I am feeling a bit broken and grace-hungry and don’t have much to offer, needing to preach the Gospel to my own soul tonight.

These words from one of my favorite books:

“God joyfully puts the treasure of the gospel into our clumsy, butter-finger hands despite our sinfulness, inadequacies, and failings.  But sometimes we just don’t buy that.  Two main reasons come to mind.

First, it is contrary to our natural logic that God would choose to use the foolish and the weak to show himself to be wise.  We have difficulty seeing how God is praised through our insufficiencies.  Wouldn’t the Lord be more glorified through a flawlessly planned and executed hospitality event?  Wouldn’t the Lord’s name be more honored if we knew how to articulate his goodness with enthusiastic clarity?  Wouldn’t it give more praise to the heavenly Father when his children look presentable and don’t have any unsightly blemishes?  Wouldn’t the Creator be praised even more if his redeemed were admired the world over and lifted up as spectacular specimens of humanity?  We find it difficult to comprehend how God chooses to use the weak and the broken to show himself to be strong and sufficient.

Second, we’re uncomfortable with our weaknesses and failures. We would much rather host flawlessly planned and executed hospitality events.  We’d prefer to articulate ourselves with clarity.  We work so hard to look presentable and defer the effects of aging.  We want to be admired.  Our preference boils down to just that–we are the ones want to be admired.  We want to live for our own glory.  We’re sinful, self-centered, and reluctant to worship God as our creator who has the right to do with us as he pleases….

There is hope for us who forget on a daily basis the work of Christ on the cross.  When we realize that we’ve blown it yet again, we must throw ourselves at the mercy of God shown to us at the cross.  When our attitudes are poor, we must cry out to Jesus for help.  When we’re certain that we’re doing fine and the shroud of pretense begins to envelop us, we must repent of our pride and grab hold of Jesus, confident that he will heal our broken hearts.

The grace of God reminds us to live in the reality of the gospel and the future that he has promised to us in Christ.  Our confidence comes from what Jesus has done and will do in the future in raising us from the dead to eternal life, just as he was raised.  We can reject the self-loathing and prideful gloating.  This will happen when we see Jesus as he truly is.  In seeing him truly, he becomes more and more precious to us, and we in turn become shaped by him as we behold him (2 Cor. 3:18).”

-Gloria Furman, Glimpses of Grace {151-152, 155-156}

“And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NET)

2 thoughts on “Savoring the Gospel When You Fail

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