Today we want to consider a word of encouragement for those who feel their life has been a failure. Lots, and lots of people feel that they have messed up their life so badly and they wonder, “What can I do with my life for God now?” There is a message of hope in the word of God for such people.
There are many brothers and sisters, believers who feel that because they have sinned, and failed God at some time in their past lives therefore they can’t fulfill God’s perfect plan for their lives now. Because he’ll say, “Well once upon a time when I was young if I had yielded completely to God and live in His perfect will maybe I could have but I have made such a mess of my life. What can I do now?” Now according to logic and our own human understanding, that sounds right. But let’s look at the scriptures and you may find that God’s thoughts are completely different; God’s ways are completely different. There’s hope, even for you. Notice first of all how the bible begins. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, that’s written in Genesis 1:1. And after the heavens on the earth were made, when God makes anything, it’s perfect. They must have been perfect because he never does anything imperfect. But some of the angels he had created fell away. And that’s described in Isaiah 14:11-15 and Ezekiel 28:13-18, and when that happened we read in Genesis 1:2, the earth became formless and void and empty and dark. But then what did God do? He didn’t live the earth in that condition. It says the Holy Spirit began to move upon that earth, and the word of God went forth on that earth, and God remade that earth. He worked on that shapeless, empty, dark mass and made something so beautiful out of that mess. That in the end of it he could say in Genesis 1:31, it’s very good. Now what’s the lesson in the first chapter of the bible? That even if the devil has made a mess of your life, if you surrender to God’s word, you see how God said, God said, God said appears in the first chapter, and to the Holy Spirit, he can make something excellent out of your life. No matter how much you fail.
Now before this failure of Lucifer, God must have a perfect plan for the heavens and the earth, but when Lucifer seen, that plan had to be set aside, but God remade the heaven and still made something good out of it. Now see what happens next. God creates man and woman. And he’s got a perfect plan for Adam and Eve. And in God’s perfect plan for Adam and Eve there was no provision for them to eat of this forbidden tree. That was not God’s will. In fact God clearly said you shouldn’t eat of that. So if God had a plan for them, the plan was they should not eat of it. But they did eat of it and they spoilt God’s plan. Now if we go by logic and reason, we’ll have to say, “Well now they cannot fulfill God’s perfect plan. Now they have to go to God’s second best.” But what do we read there? We read there that the Lord comes to Adam and Eve after they have sinned and tells them, “Well don’t worry, I’m going to solve this problem. I’m going to send a seed through the woman.” That’s referring to Christ who will come and bruised the serpent the devil on his head and destroy his power over you. So there he is speaking about Christ dying for our sins and overcoming Satan on Calvary. Now tell me this. What is your answer to this question? Was the death of Christ part of God’s perfect plan for us from all eternity or not? The bible says in Revelations 13:8 that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. So was that in God’s mind from eternity or was it God’s second best? How many of you would dare to say that the death of Christ on Cavalry was his second best? Wasn’t it his perfect plan? It was but yet when you turn to Genesis 3, logically you have to say Christ had to die only because Adam and Eve failed. If Adam and Eve had not sinned there would be no need for Christ to die on the cross at all. So then was it God’s perfect plan or not? And we would not have known of God’s love, if Adam had not sinned. There would not have been Calvary’s cross. What’s the answer? You’re confused because our human understanding cannot grasp this that even where man has failed God can still fulfill His perfect plan.
Now human logic fails here. It baffles us. That’s why the bible says, “Don’t lean on your own understanding. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” If God was working according to mathematical logic then we’d have to say that Christ coming to the earth was God’s second best plan. But that’s blasphemous. It was part of God’s perfect plan. God makes no mistakes. God who knows the end from the beginning, and who silently plans for us in love. Plans something allowing for our failures. He knows that we’re going to fail, He allows for our failures and has made a perfect plan for us. That’s the word of encouragement that there is for you. God’s perfect plan for Adam was certainly not that he should eat of tree of knowledge of good and evil but because he knew the end from the beginning, he knew that they would fail so he already made a plan that accounted for that failure. The same way in your life, a lot of things that you have done in your life, God never wanted you to do. But do you know that in His great love for you and in His perfect wisdom, He has made allowance for that failure and can still lead you into His perfect plan.
His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. So don’t let your logic and reason says, “Oh now I can’t do God’s perfect will for my life.” God’s message to us from these opening pages of the bible is just this, “That he 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.” That’s in the first pages of the bible and we must never forget it. And if you’re a failure, God can pick you up and fulfill not His second best or third best, but His perfect plan. That’s why it’s important for you to give the rest of your life totally to God. See because even our failure made, though it’s not part perfect’s plan, maybe permitted by Him to teach us some lessons. For example, we never learn humility, unfortunately except through many failures. We try to get victory over sin so many times we fail, and fail, and fail, and, fail, and fail, and we realize finally that we cannot without God’s help. Well that’s an education we got through our failure. See for example, Peter, part of Peter’s training for leadership was failure. The Lord could not break Peter through educating him, through teaching him but when he denied the Lord 3 times, which is not certainly God’s perfect will, he’d accomplished something in Peter. It broke him. And that was God’s perfect will, that he should be broken. So God can use failure to accomplish something good.
See 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. You see if you get victory over anger and then you become proud, that’s falling into a far deeper pit than anger itself. So it’s not only important to get victory over sin, it’s important to be humble at the end of it. How does that happen? Only if God allows us to fail many times. Genuine victory is always accompanied by humility. And the other thing is if we have failed many times, we can never despise another person because we know we failed ourselves. So we’re not saying that a man should therefore keep on sinning. You know Paul speaks about that saying, “Well if my dishonesty brought glory to God, “ Romans 3:7-8, “if you follow through with that idea you come to this, ‘the worse we are the better God likes it’ but the damnation of those who say such thing is just.” No we are not saying that we have to sin. What we’re saying that if we have failed God is not frustrated in fulfilling His plan for our life. Every man whom God has used has failed, Peter, Paul, John, James, you, I, everyone. God has not call people who never made mistakes in their life. If God could fulfill His perfect plan only in the lives who never made a mistake then we’d have to say, Jesus Christ is the only person whoever fulfilled God’s perfect plan for his life, nobody else. Great men of God may not have told you about their failures but they have failed too. Now the question is whether you can believe that or not.
See if you don’t believe this. If you say, “No, no, no, no it’s not possible in my case.” Then it won’t work. But if you can believe, “Lord there’s nothing impossible for You. You can take the mess I made of my life, and still accomplish something glorious, fulfill your perfect plan.” It will happen according to your faith. Think of the story of the prodigal son who wasted so many years and all the father’s money, and when he came back the bible says he got the best robe and the best seat. What was that? It’s a message that says that God can pick up a person who’s made a mess of his life and make something glorious out of him. That’s the story of the prodigal son. Think of the story of the man who went out hiring laborers. He went at 6 o’clock in the morning and hired laborers and went at 5 o’clock in the evening who could work only for 1 hour out of twelve. In other words they had wasted 90% of their life, 11 hours out of 12. And they went and work and they got their reward first. What has that parable in Matthew 20 teach us? That God can do something even with those who have ruined 90% of their lives. Nobody is so hopeless that God cannot do something with him. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, we read in 1 John 3:8. He can untie all the knots that the devil has tied up in your life my brother, my sister. Don’t listen to the lies of the devil. When he says, “No that’s impossible.” If you believe him, it would be impossible, but if you believe God who can take the broken vessel and as a potter and make it again anew, then it will be fulfilled in your life, whatever your blunders and failures. You can make a new beginning, and if you made a thousand new beginnings, and make a thousand and first new beginning today. God can make something glorious out of your life. Give glory to God by believing this is true. And one day in eternity, God will show you as a person who was a failure, but from whom He brought tremendous glory in your earthly life.
This is part of the Basic Christian Teachings Series, a set of 72 short messages presented by Zac Poonen. You can download the audio mp3 files or listen to Basic Christian Teachings by clicking here.