He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.
A few years ago, Ronny and Jill were seated in my office. Ronny sobbed uncontrollably and confessed to his wife that he was having an affair. Jill was devastated, and they thought their marriage was over. But since I knew they were both Christians, I asked them, “Have you thought about the benefits that can come from this?” They looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. I continued, “The reason God has placed us on earth is to point people to Him. This terrible mistake could be an opportunity to display God’s power to restore and His willingness to forgive. From this point on, you may be able to minister to other couples who have gone through the same mistakes and point them to the God who is willing to forgive and to heal.” That gave them a whole new perspective. They left the office knowing they had a second act. Although it was different than they imagined, their second act gave them great purpose and fulfillment.
God can use your failure to help you execute the role that He has assigned to you–not to be the star of the drama but to point people to God. And your reward for playing your part well is greater than you could ever imagine.
Now, don’t misunderstand: God doesn’t reward failure. When we get to heaven, God is not going to say, “Oh, you lost all your money investing in silver futures? Wonderful. I’ll put you in charge of eternal riches.” Nor will He say, “You cheated on your mate? Wonderful! Because you were unfaithful in your marriage, I’ll grant you eternal riches.” But God will reward you when your attitude is to take even your failures and use them to point people to God. He wants you to connect the whole of your life–successes and failures–to His eternal purpose of drawing people to Himself.
Just look at the reward Jesus received for glorifying God: “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:8-9). Because Christ spent His entire life focusing the spotlight on God the Father, God “highly exalted Him.” And God will do the same for you. When we ask God not only to forgive us but also to use our mistake for His eternal purpose, then the reward He gives us is unimaginable and unending.
If you have trusted in Christ as your Savior, your failure doesn’t have to be the grand finale of your life story. Even your physical death doesn’t bring down the curtain of your existence. Everything you have experienced in your life so far–including your failures–is only a prelude to a second act that can begin right now and go on forever and ever.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Prepare for Your Grand Finale!” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.