We all stumble and even fall at times. But thank goodness, the Bible promises that if we have built our life on the solid foundation of God’s Word, we will be able to remain steady and continue on solid ground.
The past two months have been challenging for my husband, Johnny, and me. We excitedly ran after what seemed to be a life-changing opportunity that was short-lived. In fact, it was quickly swiped out from under our feet. We felt like we had walked into a sandstorm…and we are still waiting for the dust to settle.
I’m sure you’ve experienced your own sandstorm. We all experience failure and defeat at times, but it’s how we rise that truly matters. We can either become hopelessly defeated by our disappointments, or we can turn to God and allow Him to shape and mold us into exactly what He desires. In those moments, failures can turn into incredible victories that move us to new levels.
The Bible says, “though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV). Now, that’s a great promise!
But who is righteous? Does that mean we have to be perfect?
Definitely not! No one is perfect. That’s why God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. He knew we needed a Savior.
Righteous means that we have “right standing” with God. Those who have right standing with God will rise over and over again. We gain a right standing before God through our faith in Jesus Christ. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of our faith in Christ, when God looks at us, He no longer sees our sin; instead, He sees the righteousness of His Son, Jesus. Pretty cool, huh?
I’m thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice that made me righteous. But I sure wish the righteous didn’t have to fall. It hurts!
I have to wonder—why do the righteous have to fall at all? Obviously, they fall when they take their eyes off God or when they walk in disobedience to Him. In those times, I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness and helping hand to get up and keep moving forward. But oftentimes the righteous fall at no fault of their own. The enemy comes at them with trials that knock them off their feet, or other people make mistakes that hurt them. We live in a fallen world where evil runs rampant.
In our case, Johnny and I were actively seeking God’s will at the time of our fall. We had prayed earnestly before we moved halfway across the country and gave up our livelihood. The opportunity before us seemed to provide everything we needed to bring about the fulfillment of the dreams God had placed on our heart. Yet everything fell apart, right before our eyes.
“Why, God? Why did this happen to us?” I couldn’t help but ask.
Months later, I still don’t have the answers, but nonetheless, I trust the Lord. I trust that He was with us when we stepped out, and that He is with us now as we put our lives back together. Proverbs 3:5–6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Answers or no answers, I will trust the Lord.
Johnny always says, “In every adversity lies an even greater opportunity.” We trust that God will help us rise again and move forward victoriously. Thankfully, our heavenly Father is always ahead of us. What seems to be a defeat, He will make into a victory. We know it. Time and time again, He has proved Himself faithful. God knew that this adversity was going to fall on us, and He has helped us move forward as we’ve been faithful to trust His love for us. This brings me great comfort.
The simple truth is I don’t have the answers to why we experienced this trial. But here is what I do know: God is a good Father, and this experience, if we allow it, will offer so much wisdom. We may not yet have received the fulfillment of a dream, but we have experienced the Father’s tough love of character building. And you know what? God cares more about our character, our heart, and our unyielding faith in Him than He does our comfort. We will continue to look heavenward, trusting that there is a bigger plan in the works. Our current worldly circumstances are not the end. They are merely the building blocks on which we are able to stand through every circumstance.
Right now, you may be in your own sandstorm. Maybe you don’t have the answers either. I implore you to trust God’s love for you. Trust His plan. Don’t give in to the lies of the world or your enemy, Satan. He will stop at nothing to attack your character and your future. He will tell you that you are a failure and a loser, and that there is no hope for your future. “Life is over,” he will taunt.
He is a liar.
God has a plan, and He is working in the midst of your storm right now. In the meantime, here is what has helped me overcome our fall and keep a strong faith.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Being still may seem impossible, but I believe the Psalmist was referring to our minds, not necessarily our bodies. We have to discipline our minds to become still, even in our movement. We must lay aside the memories of failures and disappointments, the million why, if only, and what if questions, and just trust God. I repeat this verse over and over in my mind until the failure replays of the past disappear from my mind.
Rather than looking at past falls as failures, look at them as learning opportunities to help move you forward. Regardless of the why behind your fall, there is always something you can learn. Stop blaming others. Ask the Lord to help you in this progression of your faith.
Get Back to the Core of You.
Often the events in our lives can cause us to lose sight of who we truly are. We are not an event or a moment in time. We are people loved by God and destined by Him for greatness. No matter who you are, this is true. You are an overcomer! No fall or failure can keep you from becoming who God has designed you to be. Ask Him to show you who you are. The Bible is the best place to find this answer!
Trust the Plan.
Jeremiah 29:11 promises that God has a plan of hope and a future for you. Get excited about God’s plan now. Live expectantly!
Set a Goal.
Where do you want to be in one year, two years, or five years? What are the desires of your heart? Create moment-by-moment goals. They will help you stay focused, bring satisfaction and excitement back into your life, and enable you to move forward in your faith.
Written by Kaytee Zentmeyer
Photo by Annie Spratt