In 2016 did you go through feelings of disappointment? Did you ever get frustrated because you felt like you kept stumbling in your walk with God? If so, please understand that you are not alone. Servants of God that we can read about in the Bible found themselves going through the same types of things.
- Moses, the great leader of Israel, was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because there was an occasion when he disobeyed God. When Israel was thirsty and begging for water, Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it like God commanded (Numbers 20:8-12). God allowed water to still come out of the rock, but He was very angry with Moses’ decision.
- Samson broke his vow to God by telling Delilah about his covenant with God. Because of his disobedience God took his supernatural strength from him and allowed the Philistines to capture him (Judges 16:1-27).
- Eli invited God’s judgment on his entire household because he did not rebuke his sons for the sins they committed in the tabernacle. Eli was a good priest and judge, but a terrible father (1 Samuel 3:10-14).
- David (a man after God’s own heart) committed adultery with Bathsheba and tried to cover his sin by having her husband, Uriah, killed in battle (2 Samuel 11and 12). He also took a census of the people toward the end of his reign. This greatly angered the Lord (maybe because it showed David trusted more in his army than in the Lord). This decision brought the judgment of God upon the kingdom of Israel (2 Samuel 24).
- In an effort to save his own life, Peter denied the Lord three times (Matthew 26:69-75). This was something he promised he would not do (Matthew 26:35).
- Saul of Tarsus went from house to house dragging Christians out of their homes and throwing them in jail. He also consented to the murder of Stephen (Acts 8:1-4).
These are examples of servants of God who made some serious mistakes in their lives. They went through moments of disappointment and defeat. But the great thing about their stories is that they did not let those moments utterly destroy their faith. They took responsibility for their mistakes. They repented. They picked themselves up and continued to serve the Lord.
(1) Even though he himself would not be able to enter, Moses still equipped Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land after his death (Deuteronomy 31:1-8). (2) Samson was vindicated by God against the Philistines (Judges 16:28-30). (3) Eli accepted his punishment and continued to serve God (1 Samuel 3:18). (4) David repented and also accepted his punishments (2 Samuel 12:13; 24:10-14). (5) Peter turned back to Jesus and went on to preach the gospel (Acts 2). (6) Saul of Tarsus became a Christian and an apostle and went on to write much of the New Testament (2 Peter 3:15-16).
Like these servants of God, there will be times when we go through moments of disappointment and defeat. But we must never abandon our faith. We must always pick ourselves up and return to Jesus (1 John 1:8-10). The ultimate failure is not when we fail, but when we give up as a result of having failed. Even after our failures, God can continue to use us for His glory. The question is, if I have been failing God will I continue feeling sorry for myself and come up with excuses as to why I am not where God wants me to be? Or, will I get up, dust myself off, seek God’s forgiveness, and trust in His ability to still use me?
– Shawn Jeffries