by Rick Warren — November 14, 2023
From How God Turns Setbacks into Comebacks
“[God] canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross.”
Colossians 2:14 (NCV)
We all mess up from time to time. We all make mistakes! We don’t have to live with guilt, because the Bible says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV). But we do have to live with our mistakes.
The Bible never hides this truth. It is painfully honest about the failures of its heroes. God saved the world from flood through a man named Noah—who then got drunk and naked and ruined it all. Moses led the children of Israel through the Red Sea and into freedom—yet his anger kept him out of the Promised Land. King David was a man after God’s heart—but he also had an affair and murdered the woman’s husband so he wouldn’t be discovered.
God realizes our frailty. If he only used perfect people, the Bible would be a pretty short book! But God does not leave us alone in our sin. He has a solution for our failures: grace.
The Bible says, “[God] canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14 NCV).
In fact, when you look at all those failures in the Bible, you get a clear picture. We can be amazed at how God used those people to accomplish his purposes in big ways. But what is most encouraging is that he used them in spite of their failures and mistakes.
Just like those heroes of the Bible, you and I are trophies of God’s grace.
Your primary witness to the world around you is not all the great things you do for God. Your most important witness will be how you handle mistakes you’ve made. Do you mope about your failures, or do you revel in the grace of God?
People want to meet a God who turns failures into triumphs. They want to know a God who can transform the lives of broken people.
The amazing part of God’s grace isn’t just his power to forgive. It’s also the strength and renewal he gives us when we choose to start over and trust in him to help us keep going.