Past Failures Teach Us

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."

"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" I told her. "Next time you will be more confident of His voice. It was a valuable lesson in learning to obey Him."

Joshua 7 and 8 tell how the Israelites' first defeat caused by disobedience helped them 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 the battle, so Joshua chose 30,000 men. This time the Israelites' victory was complete. Despite their previous defeat, they got a permanent victory.

The Holy Spirit often uses our failures to help us in future situations if we thoughtfully and prayerfully reflect upon them. He will help us identify indicators of why we failed.

I sometimes find that writing out a situation gives the Holy Spirit access to my thoughts. It is as though I am presenting all the details to Him. As I do this I have found that He says such things as, "You missed my guidance because you didn't wait in your spirit for my direction."

Thank You, Lord that we need never despair. You can use past defeats to give us a total and lasting victory.

"Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning" (Lamentations 3:23 NLT).