I glorified You [God the Father] on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
—John 17:4

Many people don’t understand what God has placed us here to do. The executive who attains the title of CEO, the worker who accumulates a large retirement plan, the pastor who builds a successful church–all may be surprised when they get to heaven and hear God say, “That’s very good, but that wasn’t the assignment I gave you.”

What is the assignment that God has given us? It’s the same role that Jesus had during His years on earth: “I glorified You [God the Father] on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).

Our role is to glorify God while we are on life’s stage. To “glorify God” simply means to make God look bigger and better to the world around us. That’s why we’re here—to point people toward God. You could paraphrase John 17:4 like this: “God, I played the part You assigned me to play. I made You look good while I was on earth.”

What does this have to do with our failures? Our mistakes provide some of the best opportunities for us to make God look good to others. A spotlight can only shine in one direction at a time. When we are succeeding and doing well, the spotlight is on us. People say, “Isn’t she gifted? Isn’t he shrewd? Aren’t they a wonderful couple?” But when we fail, our mistake gives us an opportunity to shine the spotlight on God and His ability to forgive and restore.

Our purpose in life is to make God look good to others, and our failures provide some of the best opportunities to do that.

In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul observed that our weakness gives us an opportunity to glorify God: “He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (vv. 9-10).

It’s not in our strength but in our weaknesses that the power of God is displayed. Whatever mistake you’ve made in your life, God can use that to bring glory to Himself if you allow Him to do so.

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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.

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