papercutpress.com 2001-08-15 - National Failures Day

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee.

Today, August 15, is National Failures Day. I am not sure if this means that your car will break down today or if it means that those who think they have failed at something have this day to themselves. I bet it doesn't matter. It is certain that we have all failed at something, but there is hope for failures like us.

This hope for failures is found under the kitchen sink. OK, that's absurd. But it should help to drive my point home that hope is found in no other place than Jesus Christ. You can look for hope from your failures any place you want. Look to a friend and that friend will eventually fail you. Your spouse will fail you. Wealth and the American dream will fail you. Failure is all around you. Jesus Christ will never fail you. He alone is the hope for failures. So if you feel in tune with National Failures Day, do what the rest of us do, turn to Christ.

There are two kinds of hope. There is hope in God and there is hope outside of God. Job put his hope in God very profoundly when he said, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him." Job 13:15 The book of Isaiah has a profound statement that I think we can all admit to experiencing when we place our hope outside of God. It is like, "...when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating; but when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking, but when he awakens, behold, his is faint, and his thirst is not quenched..." Isaiah 29:8 This is what it is like to place our hope anywhere else but in Christ, behold, we are not satisfied.

So why is it that we look for hope in other places than in Christ? There are lots of surface reasons I am sure, but the truth is that we do this because we are fools. We know better and we know that Christ is the only sure foundation for failures, and yet we look elsewhere. This, I submit, makes us fools. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool..." Proverbs 28:26 And while this is true there is a solution that the prophet Jeremiah stated in Lamentations 3:24, "The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him."

We must learn to turn to Christ in everything including our failures. We take our failures and lay them at the feet of Christ crying, "help!" To do anything else is to be like the man in a lunatic asylum who sat on his bed rubbing his hands with delight as fire blazed the rafters just above his head. When we look for hope outside of Christ we are poor, miserable creatures who need pity and redirection.

Today might be National Failures Day, but it can also be changed to National Triumph Day if we learn to rest more fully in Christ. We all have our days when we draw the Monopoly card, "Go Three Steps Back." But we can learn to turn that around and begin again to move forward. The only way to begin that move forward is to acknowledge our dependence upon Christ and to act on that truth.

Soli Deo Gloria,
T-

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