Failure is something that we try to avoid at all costs. We think it will be the end of the world. Or, at least, the end of our personal world. But kingdom living IS upside down living. Failure is not the end in the kingdom of God. It is the beginning. Because when we have reached the lowest point, we are open for God in our lives. Then we are, like apostle Paul, ready to trust God and not our own strength. And when we are fully submitted to God, the real, grace-filled life begins.
We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. (2 Cor. 1:8-10, MSG, emphasis added)
Mary DeMuth writes in her new book Everything: “Living the everything life is all about enlarging and diminishing. As John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Failure is the crucible God uses to increase Jesus and decrease us. It’s the venue God uses to increase our capacity for Himself. “For You,” the psalmist said, “will enlarge my heart” (Ps. 119:32 nasb). The funny thing is I feel awfully small after failure. But my heart? It’s growing.”
Failure is God’s way to prepare us.
Failure is God’s way to enlarge our hearts.
Failure is God’s way to make room for Jesus in us.
But, sure, failure is not fun. But it does enable growth in us if we turn to God. There is beauty in brokenness. As Vance Havner points out: “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
Upside down living means we are free from the world’s expectations to always succeed, to always be perfect. We are called to live authentically with God. To embrace grace for healing and strength. To obey him and leave success and failure to him. To praise God in every season and every experience. Because God IS our everything. Even if the whole wide world disagrees. They just don’t know about the grace of upside down living.
We give you permission to rearrange our lives
according to your will.
May you increase in all of us.
Make room for Jesus in us.
May your will happen in us, through us.
Enable us to share your grace of upside down living
with people around us.
In Jesus’ name,
P.S. I’ve been selected to be part of Mary DeMuth’s launch team for Everything and I will be blogging through the book before the release date in October, using the book as a spring-board for blog posts. If you are interested in reading yourself the first two chapters before the book is available in the stores, you can get them through this link.
Q4U: Have you experienced the grace of upside down living?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you praise God through hard experiences!
“The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, MSG)