Past Failures Have Purpose
After Michelle received a rejection letter for an honor she wanted, she said, "I knew the Lord had told me not to apply, but one of my professors encouraged me to and I didn't want to disappoint him." She added, "The Lord said He had wanted to spare me this hurt."
I said, "Probably before you received the letter you may not have been so certain God said, 'Don't do that,' but looking back it is more clear that it was the Lord speaking. Next time you will be more confident of His voice. It was a valuable lesson in learning to obey Him."
Joshua 7 and 8 tells how God used the first defeat caused by disobedience to help the Israelites win their next victory. At first, Joshua sent only 5,000 to fight against Ai, but because Achan had sinned, they lost this battle.
By this time, though, they knew that 5,000 men would not be enough to fight, so Joshua chose 30,000 men-all the people of war. Ai incorrectly assumed that Israel was again attacking with a small army as they had earlier. This time the Israelites' victory was complete. Despite their previous defeat, they got a permanent victory. They weren't ruined by failure.
Never despair. God can use past defeats to give you a total and lasting victory.
In Jeremiah 29:11 notice that the word "plans" is plural. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
God's plans are not static. If we've failed, we find He is a God of multiple plans for us.
Thank You, Father, for Your amazing grace.
"The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT).