{Hope for those who have failed}

There is something about middle or old age that can  cause us to pause and look in the rear mirror of life and seem to get “stuck” there. A looking back with sadness, regrets, shock at some of the things we have done or not done. Introspective and with the analyzing comes the spiritual paralysis. As a result there is that quiet inward resignation from seeing ourselves as of any value to God or others. Outwardly perhaps going through some of the motions but inwardly the white flag has been raised. If life was a race then we have stopped and  stepped outside the field of events and sat down, and there we sit. Having given up any hope. Little or no hope, our attitude if we are honest. The failures of the past haunt…

If life is not looked through the lens of Scripture and not viewed properly, then our sin, failures can lead to laying down spiritual arms, continuing to allow yourself to be beat up by the accuser of the brethren.{Rev 12:10}. A sense of hopelessness seems to settle on the mind, a look of despair reflecting the heart. Regrets, looking back over time and seeing the failures, flaws, sins that have weighed you down as you continue to be “stuck” there in your thinking. Unlike the young who seem to look quickly in the rearview mirror and then back to looking ahead full speed, at times not knowing where they are going in life, but going at full throttle! How you wish you could go back in time and choose at times different decisions. God honoring decisions. If that is your thinking, take courage. Look what your desire is, If you could go back how different you would have done some things to honor and follow God in your decisions. That my friend is grace. The grace of God at work in a heart – that cares about honoring God! You have been beat down. You have allowed yourself to be beat down by the accuser of the brethren and you have laid down the shield of faith, and you have quit! You have been duped! You have believed a lie, that somehow you would never fail, never sin again, that you would be perfect, flawless in your living. You have like Peter in Luke 22:31-32, believed you were strong enough in your own strength. None of us are. Though many of us have lived believing so at times. But Jesus restores Peter. Jesus dies for our sins that we may not die in our sins.

Jesus has given us “…precious and magnificent promises.” {2 Peter 1:4.} One of those promises is “the blood of Jesus Christ cleans us{continually} from all unrighteousness.” {1 John 1:7;9} “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” {Hebrews 8:12.} When He says ” I will remember No More.”- It is not that God somehow has “amnesia” and can’t keep up. For God is all knowing! What is the PROMISE – he will never again Hold against you. Why not? Because He held each one of your sins against His Son on the Cross. And His Son’s sacrifice was Enough to satisfy the Law’s demands and the affront to the Holiness of God was “paid in full,” by our Lord Jesus. That would be a good verse to memorize and meditate upon and seek to Praise God for and share with others. But in the “fog” of spiritual warfare in the battle of your mind ultimately to attack your faith in Jesus as it was for Peter{Luke 22:31} in regards these promises of hope – You forgot that. You forgot Him. You forgot His provision, not just for past sins, present sins, future sins, but all of your sins, He has taken care of! It does not give the Christian a license to sin, but it does give them a delightful heart of gratitude, a lifting of the load of guilt and shame, hope from the ashes of despair, and a new  desire to get back in the “fight of faith,”- {2 Tim 4:7} and follow Him and finish strong lovingly serving Him and indeed “strengthening” other believers, that our failures are not final, but the Word of God is- Good News!

Psalm 71:18 has become a prayer of mine over the months from time to time I go back to it. It is a Psalm of an older man. The psalm itself shows the troubles without and within he is facing. We see even as an older man he has some false concepts about God but rising above the midst of the fight and opposition is a prayer. A Prayer of Faith.  A Prayer of Pleading. A Prayer of specific purpose. Namely,

 “And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come..”- Psalm 71:18.

 He cannot go back but he can go on! And go on he desires and is determined to do and have influence with what is left of his life on two generations. His preset generation, he prays of his desire to, “…declare Your strength to this generation.” Those in his own generation he would seek to tell them of the strength of God. To the future, younger generation that he may “declare…Your power to all who are to come.” Some settle for growing old and looking more at their failures, sins of the past and have settled for placing themselves on “a shelf,”- which God has never intended for them.

* Moses killed a man, yet God used him to deliver a nation.

* Jacob was a swindler yet ended up as a man of faith.

* Peter boasted loudly and loyally about been ready to go to prison with Jesus and even to die if necessary, yet his failure is in the Scripture for all to see, “But God…” Jesus in Luke 22:31-32- told Peter that when he returned, he was commissioned before he sinned!

*Jesus commissioned him, knowing all about his failure and sin, commissions Peter to “strengthen the brothers,” He knew he would fail as would the other disciples who fled when Jesus was arrested, and crucified. They locked themselves away in a room for safety. Yet these were ones Jesus wanted him to “strengthen.” Indeed Peter was the one who wrote to the suffering believers in 1 Peter 1. If you read it you will find the continuing theme of Peter writing to “strengthen” them amidst severe testing’s. The “Failure” became God’s man to infuse Strength to their heart’s!

*He has known of your failures and mine. And yet, with Him we find cleansing, powerful and personal blood for forgiveness, and the grace to go on. My days confined to a room, years when added up of being confined to a bed, yet what can I do ? I can pray, I can reach out to write some devotionals I can seek to as Paul said, “my circumstances have worked out to further the Gospel…” {Phil 1:12}. How did he do this from a prison? He prayed for the spiritual development of people- 1:9-11; He in his circumstances Evangelized, 1:13 and in v 14 he encouraged the believers, “Most of the brothers are encouraged to speak the Word of God boldly because of  my imprisonment.”  He did three things-Prayed, Evangelized, Encouraged. Is there one of these three you cannot do? No by faith you can do the three!

The elderly man of Psalm 71 was definite in his prayer request, he was not growing old and cold hearted towards God or people. He was lazored in with intent. Intent that God would be made known.  Intent that God would grant him the desire of His heart to make God known to his generation and the younger generation to follow.

  •   Don’t grow old and cold
  • Don’t grow old and condemned and quit
  • Grow old with INTENT and PURPOSE- to share with this generation and a younger generation what you know about God

I love the verse which in Acts which says, “David having served the purpose of God in his generation and fell asleep.” God used David. God has and is desiring to use you!

 Your life is not defined in yester-year’s failures but your life is defined by Jesus Christ who continually loves you. {Rev 1:5}. God has hope for the elderly. Growing Old With Intent and Purpose we find in Psalm 71:18- Follow in the footsteps of this elderly man and his heart of prayer with intent to make God known. Perhaps you are not “old,” but know the pang of failure and guilt and shame and seem to believe the lie, that God no longer loves you nor could use you again. IT IS A LIE FROM HELL. Read Luke 31:32 and arise with Hope in your heart to love Him more dearly and serve Him by His grace more fervently and strengthen others for Jesus sake!

 “Arise, my soul, arise! Shake off thy guilty fears; The bleeding Sacrifice In my behalf appears. Before the throne my Surety stands; My name is written on His hands…

To God I’m reconciled, His pardoning voice I hear; He owns me for His child, I can no longer fear. With confidence I now draw nigh, And Father, Abba, Father, cry.” – Charles Wesley.



PRAY- ask Him for the fulfillment of Psalm 71:18

PURPOSE –  to seek to make God known to this generation and the younger ones of what you know of Him!

PRACTICE –Keep praying and sharing the truth about God

PRAISE GOD- You are loved by Him and you have opportunities to make Him known!