Monday, October 22, 2012

Not Getting an ‘F’ in Life

If you’ve viewed many non-family movies of late, you’ve probably noticed Hollywood’s fascination with the so-called “F-word.” I’m not going to write about that, but recently it occurred to me that some other words starting with “f” are also problematic, although in different ways.

"F" is a letter that's
usually best to avoid - on
exam, a report card, or in life.
In a devotional book I enjoy reading, Grace for the Moment, author Max Lucado makes this assertion: “My life is not futile. My failures are not fatal. My life is not final.”

Simple statements. But profound. At least for each of us that profess to be followers of Jesus.

Author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau referred to the seeming futility of life when he wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” In a tune from the ‘60s, Peggy Lee sang the haunting refrain, “Is that all there is?” Sadly, many people today share that pessimism.

But the Bible asserts our lives aren’t futile – they have purpose and meaning. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). God has specific plans for each of us. Another passage affirms our special status with God: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Failure is another concern that plagues many of us. "What if I'm not good enough?" "What if I can't finish what I've started?" Fear of failure, experts tell us, can immobilize us, causing us to choose no action at all rather than attempting something and failing in the process.

The Scriptures present numerous examples of people who experienced crushing failures, yet were restored to usefulness by God: For instance, the Old Testament includes Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David. And in the New Testament we find Peter, who betrayed Christ three times yet became a pillar of the early Church, and the apostle Paul, who was transformed from being a persecutor and murderer of Christians into a bold, outspoken disciple of Jesus.

And the greatest assurance of all is that life is not final. Contrary to those who believe there is nothing beyond the grave, the Word of God promises that in many respects, death is just the beginning of real life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus told His followers,  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

So as we place our trust in Christ one day at a time, we need not fear futility, failure or finality. He has overcome them all, and we’re promised, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

No comments: