The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, July 17, 2022 comes to us from Asamoah Joseph Omono of Greater Accra Region, Ghana.
15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous, do not plunder their dwelling place; 16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. 17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.19 Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. Proverbs 24:15-20 NIV
“Standing Back Up”
I recently read that Abraham Lincoln failed in business in 1831, suffered a nervous breakdown in 1836, and was defeated in his run for presidency in 1856. Instead of despairing and giving up, he refused to stop trying his best. Consequently, he was elected as the sixteenth president of the United States of America in 1860. Everyone experiences failure. Even Christians experience failure in studies, work, relationships, business, and family life. Setbacks are not a problem, but allowing them to paralyze our will to go on can be.
Proverbs tells us that a faithful person can fall many times, but we still have the strength to rise up again. We know that we can stand back up after failures because, as Paul writes, we “can do all things through Christ” and “[Christ’s] grace is sufficient” (Phil. 4:13; 2 Cor. 12:9). When we fail – whether it is socially, morally, maritally, or in ministry – we cannot give up. Rather, let us look for the cause of our failures and trust that God forgives us and gives us the strength to stand up again.
Everyone experiences failures and setbacks in their lives. These setbacks can happen in any areas of our lives: personal, academic, public, or professional. Asamoah Joseph Omono reminds us that God is with us, especially when we are struggling with feelings of failure. God calls us not to give up and gives us the strength to start over on a path to succeeding at our next endeavor. And even when we feel like we have failed again, God is still with us offering us the strength and focus to move onto the next success. I invite you to consider those moments in your life when you have experienced failure or a setback. How did you experience God moving in your life to give you the strength to try again?
Merciful God, when we fail, give us the strength to stand up again. Amen.
--Asamoah Joseph Omono
Prayer Focus: Those Suffering Setbacks
Thought for the Day: God’s love, not my failure, defines me.