Fighting feelings of failure by looking to Christ

15 Apr

I often struggle with a vague sense of being a failure.

God is God. He is perfect. He is worthy of glory. He deserves excellence. And I am me. I am trying but sometimes all my trying just doesn’t seem to add up to much when I compare it to what He deserves. I would never say it quite like this but I have definitely struggled with the temptation sometimes to think of standing before God and having Him say, well, shooh, you are a real disappointment, but man, wow, you could have done a whole lot better, just look at that guy over there, now, he’s someone who really was able to accomplish something.

I guess that’s part of why I find verses like 1 Corinthians 1:8 and 9 so sweet.

Paul describes Jesus as being the one who will “sustain us to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ.”

Guiltless.

How awesome is that?

Jesus Christ is committed to me standing guiltless on that day. And you too, if you are a believer. Wow.

Or how about Colossians 1:22 where Paul says that God “has reconciled us in his body of flesh by death…” why? “in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach.” This takes guiltless to another level.

God is committed to me standing before Him holy and blameless and above reproach. It just doesn’t get much better than that. It really doesn’t. I wouldn’t have a whole lot of hope if it was just me committed to standing before God this way, but no, this is God committed to this and proving it and making it possible through the death of His Son.

Sometimes you might feel like it’s not wrong to feel like God is basically disappointed with you. Maybe even you might think it is holy. But if you are in Christ, it’s not. Certainly there are times when you are stuck in sin and you should feel sorrow and grief, but look, this kind of shoulder slumped woe is me wish I was more of a success like this or that guy is really not holy in the end. It’s out and out pride. It flows out of a self righteous spirit.

I am not accepted by God on the basis of being a success and neither is anyone else.

There’s not a single person in the universe who is going to stand before God on his own merits. There’s no one anywhere who is going to stand before God apart from Christ and have God say, wow, you really are awesome.

Like any of our accomplishments are going to seem amazing to someone who created this universe or any of our sacrifices are going to seem like something who died in our place.

But that thought of course doesn’t lead to despair because I am not and you are not if you are a Christian going to stand before God solely on the basis of your own efforts. We come to God, how? In Christ and on the basis of what Christ has done and because we have been united to Christ and have the righteousness of Christ credited to our account, we can and in fact must be convinced with a deep and solid persuasion that God is for us.

Not believing that is not believing Him, because how many times and how many different ways has he said it over and over and over again? Not believing that is ugly, because He’s promised that He’s committed to our future glory, His Son died that we might experience this future glory, and Jesus Himself is committed to sustaining us so that we will experience this future glory, and He tells us that He wants us to be assured that we will experience this future glory.

And I mean, if God says that, is committed to that, if God says righteous when I stand before Him on judgement day; who do I think I am to say that He’s wrong? Um, God, actually, I know you are perfect and that angels worship you and that you are the Creator of the Universe and all that, but I kind of think, maybe Christ’s work isn’t quite enough for me and that yeah well, I am just not satisfied with what you have done in me.

No.

May it never be.

As believers, we are not only accepted for Christ’s sake. God wants us to know it. To believe it. To be assured of it.

Which means when I am struggling with a vague sense of failure, the real failure may have less to do with what I am doing or not doing and more to do with instead what I am not believing. Instead of trying to overcome the feelings of failure by looking then to myself, my efforts and my abilities as a source of confidence, I need to, we need to fight these vague feelings of failure by looking to the cross, looking to the sustaining work of Christ and even looking to the judgement seat where God makes it clear we will stand righteous, blameless, and above reproach.

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One Response to “Fighting feelings of failure by looking to Christ”

  1. wayne April 16, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Amen. Absolutely. Preach it. Believe it brother. By God’s grace you are a blessing to us. Thank you and thank God. We love you and your whole family brings joy to us,

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