When We Have Failed – What Next? (part 4)
“(14) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (16) Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16
Dr. Billy Graham once said, “Never forget: Satan’s goal is to turn us away from God.” We are most vulnerable to the enemy of our souls when we are drowning in guilt, and the worst thing we can do is try and run to hide from God. This series, “When We Have Failed—What Next?” explains three steps we need to take when we have failed God. First, we need to remember who Jesus is. Many times, the Bible says “remember” or “do not forget” because we tend to remember things we shouldn’t and forget those we should. In addition to remembering who Jesus is, you need to cling to your faith. The flesh will whisper that you are unworthy and suggest you distance yourself from God. But when you have failed, you should do the opposite—don’t lose your faith but rather cling to it. Finally, when you have failed, run to the throne of grace.
Verse 16 states, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” We do not have to go through a priest or anyone else to approach God. In the past, the Temple veil separated people from the Holy of Holies, the place where God resided. But, at the moment of Jesus’ death, when the veil was torn in two, the way into the presence of God was opened. That torn veil is symbolic of the truth that any of God’s children can come running to Him at any moment, with any problem, or after having committed any sin. In fact, there is nothing that delights the Lord more than for His children to come running to Him.
Do you realize how much God loves you? Zephaniah 3:17 states, “The Lord … will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Did you know that God rejoices over you with singing? Do you realize that you put a song in God’s heart?
When I think about how much I love my six grandchildren, it is difficult for me to imagine that God loves me more. A few years ago, my wife, Creecy, and I took our grandson, Smith, to Pullen Park so he could ride the carousel. We call Smith “Little Pop” and I’m “Big Pop.” Creecy made a video of our carousel ride. I was seated on the horse with Little Pop in my lap when the carousel began to spin rapidly. Little Pop became afraid. The video shows how much I love Little Pop because he is clinging to me, and I have both of my arms wrapped tightly around him so that he feels safe and secure. He is learning that I will protect him from anything that might harm him. Little Pop puts a song in my heart.
When you fail God, remember that you still put a song in His heart. Remember that you are His child. Run to Him because He is waiting for you to climb up into His arms so that you can experience His mercy and grace which He delights to give. Jesus said in Luke 15:7, “…there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” God loves to see brokenness in a person’s heart over his sin. Often, those who have committed egregious sins have the most repentant hearts. Additionally, they tend to be more compassionate towards other sinners and they tend to love Jesus more than those whose sins don’t seem as egregious. In Luke 7:47, Jesus said to the Pharisee concerning the sinful woman who anointed His feet with her tears, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
It boils down to this: Human beings are all cut from the same fabric. We are all sinners, capable of committing the most egregious sins. Romans 3:10-12 states, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Again, what God really wants to see in each of us is brokenness.
When you have failed God, run to the throne of grace so that you may receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. If you have placed your trust in Jesus but have experienced failure, repent and run to the throne in your brokenness. One day, when we arrive safely home in heaven, God is going to lavish His grace upon us forever. Why? Because we put a song in His heart and that is what He wants to do—pour out His grace upon His children.
So why do we seem to have so much difficultly returning to God? We try to fix things on our own. Instead of running to God and seeking His help, often we run further away. I want you to understand that brokenness is a gift. Have you wandered away from God? Have you failed Him in some way? Have you knowingly done something outside of God’s will? No matter what you have done or what you have become, God loves you and wants you to come to Him. Remember, God’s compassion never fails. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. You put a song in His heart and He delights over you with singing.