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Faithful When You Fail

The speed and the noise was exhilarating! No falling asleep here! I was in my late teens and working at a race track in Upstate New York. I spent many Saturday evenings watching street stocks, late models, and modifieds speed around the dirt track as the roar of their engines filled the air. Every once in a while, one of the cars would head in to a turn too fast only to go bounding off the track over the bank. We would lose sight of the car momentarily, but often it would come speeding back onto the raceway as though it had never stopped. The driver would then go on to finish the race, even winning on rare occasions!

As I think about those cars & their drivers, I think about being faithful in failure. “Wait a minute!” you say. “That phrase contradicts itself.” I do not think so; they are connected more than you may know. Several of the race car drivers failed to make the turn, yet faithfully entered the race again and went on to finish. This kind of faithfulness in failure is essential to a Christian’s life. Though you may desire to be faithful to God, you may often find yourself failing to “make the turn,” only to go speeding off track. The question is: how are you going to handle this failure? You can throw in the towel and drive back to the “pits,” or you can persevere and jump back in the race.

Two of Jesus’ disciples, Judas and Peter, failed Him significantly. Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied Him. They both later felt deep regret & remorse, yet they handled their failures in very different ways. Judas, instead of entering back into the “race” through confession and repentance, gave up and took his own life. Peter, on the other hand, came in deep repentance to Christ and went on to become a key leader in the early church. Both men were unfaithful; one gave up, the other turned from his wrong and persevered in faith.

Have you failed in the faith lately? Are you tempted to give up because the race is too difficult and it seems that many others are far ahead of you? Come back in the race and follow it through to its end. You only need to acknowledge your failure, turn from it and embrace Christ. Though you may feel far behind the majority, Christ is waiting at the finish line looking forward to seeing you there!

Father in heaven, I have veered off course and failed

You many times. It’s tempting to give up and abandon the race,

but today I choose to get back on the track.

Forgive me for my straying, and empower me with Your Holy Spirit

to stay on course. I want to see You at the finish line one day

and celebrate the victory forever!

In Jesus’ name, amen.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9

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