In this final study we want to consider a word of encouragement for those who feel that their life has been a failure. Lots and lots of people feel that they have messed up their life so badly that they wonder, 'What can I do with my life for God now?' There is a message of hope in the word of God for such people.
There are many brothers and sisters, believers who feel that, because they have sinned and failed God at some time in the past, they can't fulfil God's perfect plan for their lives now. They say, 'Well, once upon a time, when I was young and, if I had yielded completely to God and lived in His perfect will, maybe I could have, but I have made such a mess of my life. What can I do now?' Now, according to logic and our own human reasoning, that sounds right. But let us look at the scriptures, and you will find that God's thoughts are completely different; God's ways are completely different. There is hope, even for you.
Notice first of all how the Bible begins. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. That is written in Genesis 1:1. When the heavens and the earth were made, since whenever God makes anything, it is perfect, they must have been perfect. He never does anything imperfect. But some of the angels, whom He had created, fell away. That is described in Isaiah 14:11-15 and Ezekiel 28:13-18. When that fall happened, we read, in Genesis 1:2, the earth became formless and void and empty and dark. Then, what did God do? He didn't leave the earth in that condition. It says the Holy Spirit began to move upon that earth and the word of God went forth on that earth and God remade that earth. He worked on that shapeless, empty, dark mass, and made something so beautiful out of that mess - that in the end of it, He could say, in Genesis 1:31, it is very good! Now what is the lesson in the first chapter of the Bible? That, even if the devil has made a mess of your life, if you surrender to God's word (you see how "God said...", "God said...", "God said..." appears in the first chapter) and through the Holy Spirit, He can make something excellent out of your life, no matter how much you have failed.
Before this fall of Lucifer, God must have had a perfect plan for the heavens and the earth. When Lucifer sinned, that plan had to be set aside. But God remade the heavens and the earth and still made something good out of it. See what happens next. God creates man and woman, and He has a perfect plan for Adam and Eve. In God's perfect plan for Adam and Eve, there was no provision for them to eat of this forbidden tree. That was not God's will. In fact God clearly said you shouldn't eat of that. So God had a plan for them and the plan was that they should not eat of it. But they did eat of it and they spoilt God's plan. Now, if we go by logic and reason, we will have to say, 'Well, now they cannot fulfil God's perfect plan. Now we have to go to God's second best.' But what do we read there? We read there that, the Lord comes to Adam and Eve, after they have sinned, and tells them, 'Well don't worry, I am going to solve this problem. I am going to send a seed through the woman (that is referring to Christ), who will come and bruise the serpent, the devil, on his head and destroy his power over you.' So there He is speaking about Christ dying for our sins and overcoming Satan on Calvary.
Now tell me this, what is your answer to this question? Was the death of Christ part of God's perfect plan for us from all eternity, or not? The Bible says in Revelations 13:8, that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. So was that in God's mind from eternity or was it God's second best? How many of you would dare to say that the death of Christ on Cavalry was God's second best? Wasn't it His perfect plan? It was. Yet, when you turn to Genesis 3, logically, you have to say Christ had to die only because Adam and Eve failed. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, there would be no need for Christ to die on the cross at all. So, was it God's perfect plan or not? Also we would not have known of God's love, if Adam had not sinned. There would not have been Calvary's cross. What is the answer? You are confused. Our human understanding cannot grasp this, that even where man has failed, God can still fulfil His perfect plan.
Now human logic fails here. It baffles us. That is why the Bible says, "Don't lean on your own understanding. Trust in the Lord with all your heart." If God was working according to mathematical logic, then we will have to say that Christ coming to the earth was God's second best plan. But that is blasphemous. It was part of God's perfect plan. God makes no mistakes. God who knows the end from the beginning, and who silently plans for us in love, plans something allowing for our failures. He knows that we are going to fail. He allows for our failures and has made a perfect plan for us. That is the word of encouragement that there is for you.
God's perfect plan for Adam was certainly not that he should eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but because He knew the end from the beginning, He knew that they would fail. So He had already made a plan that accounted for that failure. The same way in your life, a lot of things that you have done in your life, God never wanted you to do. But do you know that in His great love for you and in His perfect wisdom, He has made allowance for that failure and can still lead you into His perfect plan?
His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. So don't let your logic and reason says, 'Oh! Now I cannot do God's perfect will for my life.' God's message to us from these opening pages of the Bible is just this: He can take a man who has failed and make something glorious out of him and still make him fulfil God's perfect plan for his life. That is in the first page of the Bible and we must never forget it. If you are a failure, God can pick you up and fulfil not His second best or third best, but His perfect plan. That is why it is important for you to give the rest of your life totally to God. Many of our failures, though it is not part of God's perfect plan, maybe permitted by Him to teach us some lessons. For example, we never learn humility, unfortunately, except through many failures.
We try to get victory over sin so many times, but we fail and fail and fail and fail and fail and we realize finally that we cannot, without God's help. Well, that is an education we got through our failure. Take Peter for example. Part of Peter's training for leadership was failure. The Lord could not break Peter through educating him, through teaching him, but when he denied the Lord three times, which is not certainly God's perfect will, He accomplished something in Peter. It broke him and that was God's perfect will, that he should be broken. So God can use failure to accomplish something good. One of the biggest problems God has with us is to bless us in such a way that the blessing does not puff us up with pride. You see, if you get victory over anger and then you become proud, that is falling into a far deeper pit than anger itself. So it is not only important to get victory over sin, it is important to be humble at the end of it. Now how does that happen - only if God allows us to fail many times? Genuine victory is always accompanied by humility.
And the other thing is, if we have failed many times, we can never despise another person, because we know we failed ourselves. So we are not saying that a man should, therefore, keep on sinning. No. Paul speaks about that saying, 'Well if my dishonesty brought glory to God' and if you follow through with that idea you come to this, 'The worse we are the better God likes it, but the damnation of those who say such things is just' (Rom. 3:7-8). No, we are not saying that we have to sin. What we are saying is that, if we have failed, God is not frustrated in fulfilling His plan for our life. Every man whom God has used has failed. Peter, Paul, John, James, you, I, everyone. God has not called people who never made mistakes in their life. If God could fulfil His perfect plan only in the lives of those who never made a mistake, then we will have to say, Jesus Christ is the only person who ever fulfilled God's perfect plan for His life, nobody else. Very many great men of God may not have told you about their failures but they have failed too.
Now the question is whether you can believe that or not. If you don't believe this and if you say, 'No, it is not possible in my case,' then it won't work. But if you can believe, 'Lord, there is nothing impossible for you, you can take the mess I made of my life and still accomplish something glorious and fulfil your perfect plan,' it will happen according to your faith. Think of the story of the prodigal son who wasted so many years and all that father's money. And when he came back, the Bible says, he got the best robe and the best seat. What was that? It is a message that says that God can pick up a person who has made a mess of his life and make something glorious out of him. That is the story of the prodigal son. Think of the story of the man who went out hiring labourers. He went at 6 in the morning and hired labourers and then he went at 5 in the evening to hire labourers, who could work only for one out of twelve hours. In other words, they had wasted 90% of their life, 11 hours out of 12. But when they went and worked, they got their reward first. What does that parable in Matthew 20 teach us? That God can do something even with those who have ruined 90% of their lives.
Nobody is so hopeless that God cannot do something with him. We read in 1 John 3:8 that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He can untie all the knots that the devil has tied you up with in your life, my brother, my sister. Don't listen to the lies of the devil. When he says, 'No that is impossible,' if you believe him, it will be impossible. But if you believe God, who can take the broken vessel, and as a potter, make it anew again, then it will be fulfilled in your life, whatever your blunders and failures were.
You can make a new beginning and if you made a thousand new beginnings, you can make a thousand and first new beginning today. God can make something glorious out of your life. Give glory to God by believing this is true. And one day in eternity, God will show you as a person who was a failure, but from whom He brought tremendous glory in your earthly life.