I read these words this morning and was blessed by them. I have a feeling that there might be someone reading this blog who needs to read them as well:
What If You Fail?
"Never a day goes by when we do not fail to do what Christ has enabled us to do. Despite all of the gifts flowing from our union with Christ, sin still remains in us. That’s the reason you need to know that Jesus has broken the power of sin–because its presence still remains! We should not be shocked that the war still rages inside us. We have been changed, we have been empowered, but we have not yet been perfected.
What do you do when you sin and fail? Do you excuse and rationalize? Do you wallow in self-defeating guilt and regret? The Cross calls you away from both responses. It gives you the freedom to admit your sin and repent. It is impossible for your sin to shock the One who died because of it. The Cross also gives you the freedom to seek and receive forgiveness each time you fall. We do not have to carry the sins Christ took on himself. He paid the price we could not pay so that we would never have to pay it again.
When you fail, keep Jesus and his work in view. Run to your Lord, not away from him. Receive his forgiveness, get back up, and follow him once more, knowing that each time you fail, you can experience your identity as one for whom Christ died. Each failure reminds us of why he had to die; each confession reminds us of the forgiveness that only the Cross could provide." Paul David Tripp via AN
If you are struggling with sin, please don't despair or give up. There is grace for you at the cross.
Please don't (1) run from God as I have done in the past, or (2) simply fake it and act like you are fine. Christianity is not about you never making a mistake and being perfect, it's about a Savior who was perfect on your behalf and who paid for those mistakes and sins on the cross. Get back up, repent, run to him, rest in him, bathe in his grace, and hang in there. When you fail again, run to him again - this is the Christian life.
Know that there is no sin that is beyond the grace of God. There is nothing you could do that would cause him to turn away in disgust - Christ took that disgust for you on the cross. If you are united with Christ, the Father's love for you is unconditional; It is based on Christ's performance, not yours. His love for you is grounded upon his covenantal faithfulness, not your personal piety.
Through Christ, your sin and guilt have been paid for, and you have been declared righteous. This is good news.
Fight with all that you have to believe these words. They are true and, yes, the gospel really is that great.
Jesus Christ is what separates Christianity from every other religion or worldview. I urge you to let his life and work dominate your thoughts. Let his grace rock your world. And when you fail at that (and you will), there is grace for you still.
"Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin." -Julia Johnston