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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – COMING BACK FROM FAILURE. Part 2.

Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, "I have failed three times," and what happens when he says, "I am a failure." - S.I. Hayakawa.

As we continue our series on ‘Coming Back From Failure’ from John 21:1-25, we saw in Part 1, how Peter arrived at the point of failure, and what he was thinking at that particular time. Today we look at how...

FAILURE HAS A TENDENCY TO MAKE US TO SEARCH FOR THE FAMILIAR


Failure usually comes when we attempt something out of the norm… i.e., a new relationship, a new business or job, moving to a new place etc., generally something that involves taking a risk. When we meet difficulties and it doesn’t turn out the way we hoped, we tend to go back to what we did before. Peter’s dilemma caused him to return to fishing, he would seek comfort in this.

Douglas Maurer, 15, of Creve Coeur, Missouri, had been feeling bad for several days. His temperature was ranging between 103 and 105 degrees, and he was suffering from severe flu-like symptoms. Finally, his mother took him to the hospital in St. Louis. Douglas Maurer was diagnosed as having leukemia.

The doctors told him in frank terms about his disease. They said that for the next three years, he would have to undergo chemotherapy. They didn't sugarcoat the side effects. They told Douglas he would go bald and that his body would most likely bloat. Upon learning this, he went into a deep depression. His aunt called a floral shop to send Douglas an arrangement of flowers. She told the clerk that it was for her teenage nephew who has leukemia.

When the flowers arrived at the hospital, they were beautiful. Douglas read the card from his aunt. Then he saw a second card. It said: "Douglas, I took your order. I work at Brix florist. I had leukemia when I was 7 years old. I'm 22 years old now. Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Laura Bradley." His face lit up. He said, "Oh!"

It's funny: Douglas Maurer was in a hospital filled with millions of dollars of the most sophisticated medical equipment. He was being treated by expert doctors and nurses with medical training totaling in the hundreds of years. But it was a salesclerk in a flower shop, a woman making $170 a week, who, by taking the time to care, and by being willing to go with what her heart told her to do, gave Douglas hope and the will to carry on. - Bob Greene.

Sometimes we seek solace for our failures in other areas of our lives… alcohol, drugs or other secret addictions that we had never dealt with in our lives, prior to our predicaments, but there is a way out…

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9.

The first step in overcoming failure is to confess our sins and Jesus will restore us, as He forgave and restored Peter.

In the 14th century, Robert Bruce of Scotland was leading his men in a battle to gain independence from England. Near the end of the conflict, the English wanted to capture Bruce to keep him from the Scottish crown. So they put his own bloodhounds on his trail. When the bloodhounds got close, Bruce could hear their baying. His attendant said, "We are done for. They are on your trail, and they will reveal your hiding place." Bruce replied, "It's all right."

Then he headed for a stream that flowed through the forest. He plunged in and waded upstream a short distance. When he came out on the other bank, he was in the depths of the forest. Within minutes, the hounds, tracing their master's steps, came to the bank. They went no farther. The English soldiers urged them on, but the trail was broken. The stream had carried the scent away. A short time later, the crown of Scotland rested on the head of Robert Bruce.

The memory of our sins, prodded on by Satan, can be like those baying dogs but a stream flows, red with the blood of God's own Son. By grace through faith we are safe. No sin-hound can touch us. The trail is broken by the precious blood of Christ. "The purpose of the cross," someone observed, "is to repair the irreparable." - E. Lutzer.

John recognises the voice of Jesus in John21:7… Jesus' favorite disciple told Peter, "It's the Lord!" When Simon heard that it was the Lord, he put on the clothes that he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into the water.

When Peter jumped into the water and swam to Jesus, he was making his first step to receiving forgiveness and restoration. Jesus receives him and provides breakfast for him, in the miraculous provision of fish and bread. And He will provide for us, when our relationship with Him is repaired…

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. - Rev 3:20-21.

Life is a leaf of paper white
Whereon each one of us may write
His word or two,
and then comes night.

Greatly begin! though thou have time
But for a line, be that sublime
Not failure, but low aim, is crime. -- James Russell Lowell.

As we continue to look this week at these events in John 21, will let us see how they can help us return from our failures.

Loving Father, I thank you for your word that helps me to understand myself, and helps me to put my life back into perspective, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Forgive me Lord, for going back to the things that I was familiar with, wash me and cleanse me. I thank you that you are a God of forgiveness and restoration. In Jesus wonderful Name I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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