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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

07 Feb '12

Failures and disappointments are often God's redirection

Our ability to see the full scope of our lives and God's plan is amazingly limited. As Paul says, we see through a glass darkly but will one day see Him face to face. Because of our limited view, we often do not see that the failures and disappointments we face are nothing other than God's redirection of our lives to those places where He can use us the most.

Consider Moses who failed at being an Egyptian prince so God could use him to lead the people out of bondage. Or, Joseph who failed at being a brother so that he could save his whole family from famine. My greatest perceived failure brought me to where I am today, and right where I believe God wants me to be. As the book of Proverbs says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps (Proverbs 16:9)." How often God has redirected my steps in ways that I did not understand at the time but in retrospect have more clarity.


This ought to cause us to ask in failure and disappointment, "Is God up to something?" "Does He have something in mind that is greater than our disappointment?" Since He establishes our steps and has our best interests in mind, chances are He does. 


This allows us to change our prayer from "why?" to "What?" Obviously God has something different for us than we expected, the question is "what is it?" Asking why keeps us focused on our disappointment while asking what focuses on God's intentions and what He has for us next. Two very different perspectives that lead to two very different attitudes.


Here is something we know for sure: God is always up to something, even in our failures and disappointments. We are never abandoned or left alone so even in the worst place we can look with anticipation at what He has for us. This truth gives us the courage to move forward even in dark days. We know He is up to something, we just don't know what - yet!