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Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

I ‘discovered’ these verses years ago as I led my congregation through a study of the book of Ephesians. Since then these verses have been the basis of nearly every service I’ve presided over. As often happens for those of us who read the Bible regularly, sometimes the true power of a passage gets lost in the midst of other verses.

Meditate on this prayer the Apostle Paul leaves us. Contemplate its meaning for you in the midst of the battle you are going through right now.

‘To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…’

The Amplified Bible states it like this: Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

He is able to carry out his purpose in our lives ‘superabundantly’ and ‘infinitely beyond our highest…dreams’.

What comfort in a day when time and again our dreams get smashed by broken or stressed relationships, financial ruin, political upheaval and poor health.

When I seek refuge from the pain of abuse from others he is there offering comfort like no one else.

When I am humbled by the guilt of my own rebellion because I’ve followed my own desires, my own passions and left the things I know I should do behind, he is there to forgive, cleanse me from all unrighteousness, restore me to his kingdom.

When I am confused by the actions of others and my own feelings of doubt and desire he shows me his peace and walks me through the dark forest of distraction and confusion.

So why don’t we see this power in our lives? What is it that keeps me from accomplishing my dreams, my goals, my wildest imagination? Too often I have to confess that my desires, passions and dreams are self-centered and self-focused. They may have a basis in good things, but ultimately they are to make me feel good and look good.

The important thing to focus on isn’t my failure to succeed but my definition of success. Do I earnestly seek my own comfort and vindication, or to I seek to see God’s power working through me for HIS glory, not mine.

PRAYER: Father, as I go through this day let my mind dwell on the meaning of these verses. Help me to grasp the vast power I have available when on my knees in prayer. Let me see that power exhibited in my private thoughts and my public actions. Amen.


My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Psalm 25:17 (NLT)

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, writes, “When the darkest hour of the night arrives we may expect the dawn; when the sea is at its lowest ebb the tide must surely turn; and when our troubles are enlarged to the greatest degree, then we may hopefully pray, O bring thou me out of my distresses.”

There are times in our lives when it seems our trouble goes from bad to worse with no relief in sight. It might be something relatively simple like a day in which everything seems to go wrong or something major that will change your life forever and threatens your faith and your ability to go on.

The struggles we endure can come from the hands of others, those intent on getting what they want at any cost without regard to the needs and emotional state of others. Their attacks seem relentless. The wounds they inflict may be unseen by men, but cause you to die internally one blow at a time.

Hard as it is to take the abuse of others the abuse of our own heart is the most destructive. The self-inflicted wounds of an unforgiving spirit entangle us. We won’t forgive them. Not after what they did. They won’t control us anymore. While our abuser may not control us physically anymore, our refusal to forgive keeps us in chains.

Another enemy of the heart may be more dastardly than the refusal to forgive others is the refusal to forgive ourselves. Isn’t it true that many of the things that keep us awake at night are those things that we’ve done to ourselves? The financial choices we knew were a risk but took them anyway and now the house is in foreclosure? The affair that you want so desperately to hold on to but know you need to end? The secret sin you harbor, but live in fear of being found out?

You may not have any control over the attacks of others. You can free yourselves of the shackles of guilt and shame. You can forgive your attacker and be released from that bondage. That forgiveness is for your sake, not theirs. It frees you from the shackles; it doesn’t free them from the responsibility for their actions.

You can be free of the problems that are keeping you down. You can’t do it alone. It will take time and hard work. But the rewards are worth the battle. The Psalmist knew where his help came from. He knew that with the help of his Heavenly Father he would once again see the light of dawn on the horizon.

We have that same hope. Your struggle may be emotional or physical. It may be self-inflicted or the cruel actions of others. Whatever is keeping you in bondage can be destroyed through Jesus Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Your troubles may seem to be going from bad to worse with no hope on the horizon, but there is hope through faith in a loving Father.

PRAYER: Father God, I feel like my problems are too overwhelming for me to go on. I struggle to forgive others and myself for things that I now suffer the consequences for. I ask that you free me from these chains. Empower me with your Spirit to live free. Help me to see the dawn in the midst of my present darkness. Amen.


Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

The two areas that Satan attacks the most in our walk is our faith in God and our faith in ourselves. He knows that these two areas of our lives will dictate how we address everything else in our lives.

If we are confident in who we are and comfortable with ourselves then the attacks other people place on us will fall harmless by our side. If, on the other hand we see ourselves as weak and worthless people even the smallest ‘stones of attack’ will pierce our armor.

What it really boils down to is this question, a question we must ask ourselves every day as we get up and get ready for the tasks ahead: “Who do you see in the mirror?”

We all want to succeed in whatever endeavor we pursue. We want to be respected. We want to be liked. We may not need to be filthy rich, but it would be nice to at least have enough money in the bank account to buy food, make the house payment and own a car that can be counted on to get you from point A to point B with the least amount of turmoil. All these things influence how we feel about ourselves if we listen to the enemy instead of listening to the truth of what God says about us.

Here’s the lie that Satan wants you to believe. When things get tough. When you fail to conquer that temptation…again; when you fall to the seduction of lust; when you miss another house payment; when you explode in a flurry of words at your wife, your boss or your kids, he gently and quietly whispers in your ear.

“You did it again didn’t you. You can’t beat this. You are worthless. You will never amount to anything, you realize that don’t you? Then, here’s where he really gets you. He quotes scripture. He’s not above that you know. He did it with Eve. He did it with Jesus Christ himself! And he never uses it in context. He quotes just what he things you need to hear.

“Even the bible says your worthless. Remember Isaiah 64:6? God says you are nothing but filthy rags. Worthless. Smelly. Of no value at all. That’s you.”

Then, he leaves and you get to pick up the pieces. Wounded. Doubting your abilities. Ashamed. Embarrassed. You resolve to be done. You won’t try anymore. The pain of failure is too great.

Until we have a firm grasp of who we are we can never fully access the power of grace. Think of grace as a verb, not a noun. Grace is God’s unending, passionate love for you 24/7. Read Ephesians 2:1-10. Read it carefully. See the promise. You WERE dead, but now you are ALIVE. Your life isn’t based on your actions. Your life if based on Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. God’s view of you is based on Jesus’ actions, not yours. Jeremiah 31:3 tells us we are loved with an everlasting love. Romans 8 tells us that NOTHING can separate us from that love.

Here is the truth Statement we need to base the view from the mirror on: We are loved unconditionally. Period. The Creator God of the universe loves you. He’s more concerned about your future than your past or present. He’s willing to take a chance on you. In his eyes not only ‘will you amount to something’, you already are something.

PRAYER: Father I’m tired of listening to Satan’s lies about myself. I’m tired of the feeling of dread I get every day I climb out of bed. I’m tired of feeling like a failure to you and those around me. Empower me with your Spirit to see myself as you do, through the lens of Jesus Christ. In his name I pray, Amen.

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