Mar 29, 2012

God Uses Our Failures

On Friday afternoon, I received a letter in the mail that contained some “bad” news. The letter came after a lengthy five month process of screening and interviews and tests for a volunteer position in the city where I live. The letter stated; “I regret to inform you that you are not selected for the position”.

In the past I had applied for other positions and jobs that I didn’t get and life went on to bigger and better things. But this position struck me a little differently and the letter invited me to call if I had any questions; so I did.

The person who had answered the phone said that I was not selected because of something that took place in my life twelve years ago. A failure in my past said that I was not usable.

“Twelve years ago?” I said to myself, “Really?” I knew that there were individuals already in the position I was seeking who had things from their pasts that certainly disqualified them.

But, I also knew that Jesus was Lord of my life and I would take this as simply the “yes” or “no” that I was praying about regarding taking this position, had I made it through the process.

The funny thing about not being selected for the position due to something that took place twelve years ago in my life is what took place during the week that followed.

On Monday night, I was part of a team of pastors who are helping another minister through a situation in his life. I was a part of the team BECAUSE of what took place twelve years ago in my life.

On Tuesday, I spoke to a pastor’s meeting about what took place twelve years ago in my life. I was asked to speak BECAUSE of what took place twelve years ago in my life.

In fact I have been sought out to speak on many occasions at pastor’s conferences, retreats, men’s meetings, church services, individual and premarital counseling all BECAUSE of what took place twelve years ago in my life.

After I went through my restoration process, a friend of mine who is also a pastor said to me; “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t walk with a limp.” What he was refering to was a story in Genesis 32 of the Bible. It is the story of a man named Jacob who wrestled with God; and didn’t quit until he got what he came for. When the wrestling match ended, the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint. Presumably, Jacob from that point on walked with a limp because he had wrestled with God on some matters.

You see, what we see as failures, mistakes, brokenness, sin; God sees as opportunities for future use when we submit to His restoration process. God used my past failure as a life lesson to minister to others.

God’s letter to me stated; “I am happy to inform you that you are selected for the position”

“Anything and everything is possible with God if we approach Him with a broken spirit. We must humble ourselves, get rid of the debris in our lives, and keep leaning on Him instead of our own understanding. Your future and mine are determined by this one thing: seeking after the Lord. The blessings we receive and then pass along to others all hang on this truth: ‘He rewards those who earnestly seek Him’ (Hebrews 11:16) –excerpt from pg.167 of the book; “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” by Jim Cymbala with Dean Merrill © 1997 Zondervan. All Rights Reserved

How about you?
  • Are you still letting your past define who you are today?
  • Have you ever cried out to God?
  • Have you ever asked God to forgive you?
  • Have you ever asked God to help you to change in order for your story to be ministry to others?
You can; TODAY, get right with God.

Watch the video to see how.


    Pastor Phil Roland <><<

  2. I watched a video this week - and it was a Pastor who had gone through a divorce publicly. She said she felt like she had a choice and that choice was whether to claim/own the forgiveness for herself that she preached every day.

    I thought that was really cool/important because our faith is based on forgiveness/repentance but once we get in to "religion" we (& by we I mean me) change the rules and forget why we came in the first place ...