“…and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham’s son in his old age.” Genesis 21:1,2
“So Joshua took the whole land, according to all the Lord had said…” Joshua 12:1
” But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:2,3
“Then those who gladly received this word were baptized and that day about three thousand souls were added…” Acts 2:41
Whew! Everywhere one turns today, we are confronted with and confounded by failure. We hear that our institutions like government, schools, police forces, military are failing. We witness people’s failures of lying, cheating, stealing, killing. We watch as our worldly society fails to care for those who are in desperate need and fails to keep peace within and amongst nations. The world would even have us look at ourselves; we are not slim enough, educated enough, rich enough, popular enough, in short we are failures. Sadly, even our churches are weighed down with the sense of failure. Where is one to turn to find hope? Where is one to turn to be certain of success?
Sarah felt like a failure. She so wanted to give Abraham a child but year after year she failed. Yet God had told her very plainly that she would conceive and bear a son. In faith she followed Abraham as God called them to move to a new land. Sarah did laugh at the thought of having a child such an advanced stage. Scripture tells us that Abraham was 100 years old when success came. Sarah conceived and Issac was born.
The people of Israel had been slaves for 400 years. Then Moses came and by great acts of God, the people of Israel were freed and led toward a promised land. Yet when it came time initially for them to enter the land they were too afraid. So for 40 years they wandered in the wilderness until the generation that had feared had now passed away. Moses has died and a new leader, Joshua, takes his place to lead the people. There were over 40 kings and kingdoms arrayed against Joshua. The people of Israel were not the physically strongest, they did not have the best weapons, they did not have the largest numbers. What they had, who they called on, was God. After seven years of conquest, the land promised to Israel if they would be faithful to God, belonged to them.
It had been a hard frustrating fight. The Jewish leaders had tried ignoring Him. They had tried arguing with Him. They had tried threatening Him, but nothing seemed to work. Jesus kept thwarting them at every turn and seemingly growing more powerful with more followers all the time claiming He was the Son of God. Yet the leaders knew better. The leaders were smarter. And finally, finally, they were able to get the people to turn on Jesus, they got the Romans to judge Jesus and the problem was over. Jesus had been crucified and three days ago He was buried. However, now the tomb is empty. The curtain in the temple has been rendered in two. Prophets have risen from their grave and have been seen in the city. And there is word that Jesus has been seen. Jesus has been seen, not as a ghost or phantom apparition, but in flesh and blood. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. The Jewish leaders are defeated. Satan has lost.
The word is out from the Jewish leaders; do not preach Jesus Christ. The word is out, do not believe what His rabble rousing followers are saying about Him rising from the dead and ascending to heaven as God’s risen son. Do not join this heretic movement or you will be banished from the temple and much worse. The Jewish leaders have imprisoned His followers. They have publicly beaten them. Surely this fad of Jesus Christ will pass. Yet that man Peter keeps preaching and not just a few, not 20 or 30, not even a couple of hundred, but thousands, thousands!; are joining those followers of Jesus Christ every day!
The aforementioned examples are just a very few of Our Heavenly Father’s successes. Successes that seemed so improbable. Successes that appeared to be failures at one point. Successes on personal levels and on societal levels. Indeed, there is no record of God’s failure. Why? Because it can’t happen. God can’t fail.
It’s not a glass half full, half empty type of argument. It is a cup runeth over reality. Dear sisters and brothers, please, please do not let us buy into the world’s words and judgements of failure. Let us not become mired in the mud of hopelessness and despair. Yes indeed their is failure. The world that only relies on the worldly will fail.
Yet you and I belong to God. Through the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ we have been made clean so that we can come into the presence of God Almighty. Because we belong to God, we are a part of God’s plan and again I state God will not fail; He has never, is not now, nor will ever, fail. So rejoice. Rejoice in Him. Rejoice in the knowledge of His triumph certain to come. Rejoice in the hope that is testified within us by the Holy Spirit. Rejoice in the blessings promised by Jesus Christ. Let us make our petitions to God Almighty, not in doubt or uncertainty, but in faithful confidence of His Loving Power. Let us read and rejoice in His Word which holds such promise and examples of His faithfulness.
God will not fail. Staying faithful to Him, repenting of our sins, loving Him and His creation, studying His word, we will not fail either. That in our triumph we will humbly give praise to Him should be our response. All hail His triumph in us and our triumph in Him!
Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, this world and the prince of this world is full of lies, deceits and words of doom and failure. Pour out Your Spirit that we might stand strong against those words. We also ask Your forgiveness when we forget that we are Yours and find ourselves living in dark despair. Lift us up Dear Father. Shelter us with Your Love. Show us Your Divine Will that we might be partakers with You in Your ultimate triumph to the praise of Your most Holy Name. In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen