Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dealing With Failure

Regardless of our age, IQ, or social status failure is common to all. Since none of us are exempt how do we deal with it? If we look at the scripture we find that some try to hide it like Adam and Eve. Others deny it like Cain, while some fear it like the ten spies who returned from Canaan. Even more so some try to ignore it like Saul. But most of us are like David, we hate it. We do everything but accept it. We tend to look at failure as the ultimate defeat. But really is it all that bad? Sometimes failure is a necessary step to success. John Maxwell states, "we look at failure in a positive sense when we realize the right to fail is as important as the right to succeed." So what do you do when you experience failure? First accept it as being common to all. Second, realize it's not final. "To accept failure as final is to be finally a failure." Thirdly, when you fail let it propel you forward. In other words "fail forward." By doing this we learn from our past but also fail with our faces looking forward so we can anticipate the future. Failure cannot keep us from our destiny. If handled correctly it only gives us a greater appreciation for the journey.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A 24 Hour Turn Around

Have you ever needed a quick turn around in your life. This is what we read about in 2 Kings 6:24-7:20. Benhadad besieged Samaria and there was a great famine that developed. It was so severe that they were eating ass's heads, dove's dung, and their own children. That sounds like desperation to me. You may be at the point in your own life when you are thinking of resorting to measures you never dreamed possible for survival. If you read further in this story you will find that Elisha gave a prophecy in 2 Kings 7:1 that seemed impossible to the natural mind. He said, "Hear ye the word of the Lord, Tomorrow about this time things are going to turn around." In twenty four hours your lives are going to be different, and indeed they were. This answer came from an unlikely source, at an unlikely place, at an unlikely time. God brought about a turn around miracle. As your read this I challenge you not to give up or to lose hope. Your answer is on its way also. Although your natural eye cannot see it and your mind cannot grasp it, God is going to bring your turn around miracle. Trust HIM!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



Freedom has many attributes. Because of the sacrifice made by those who formulated the Declaration of Independence, we have freedom of choice, of speech, and of worship. While these are wonderful they are not the most important. As we find in Genesis 32: 24-31 the greatest freedom one can enjoy is freedom from self. Jacob had spent his life living in bondage. He was bound by a spirit of deceit which drove him to take advantage of those closest to him including his brother and his aged father.

When he came to the end of his road he found himself alone having an encounter with God. In this encounter he no doubt thought God wanted to talk to him about his unfortunate life. Let's talk about Laban and how he took advantage of me. Or better still let's talk about Esau and his desire to kill me. But I hear God say "No! This encounter is not about anyone else but you. Laban and Esau are not your problem, nor is anyone else. Your problem is you!" That most often is the case with all of us. Our biggest problem is ourselves. We need freedom from self. In this story we find out how we move from beyond ourselves to being what God wants us to be. The transition involves three steps: One: When we realize there are no other options. Jacob was at the end of the road. He could do nothing else to help himself. Two: When you're willing to be honest. Jacob had to admit who he was. He had to confess his name which meant deceiver-sup-planter. Three: When we are willing to pay the cost--the cost of being alone. When we are willing to say "God it's just you and me. Let's stay here until we work this thing out." The Bible says they wrestled. One often thinks of this as total blessing. But we cannot imagine the pain brought on by a dislocated hip. Yet this brought him to the point of crying out "I will not let you go until you bless me." This cry was not one of the desire to feel goose bumps. It was one to total dependency. He was saying "I cannot let you go because without your blessing I cannot make it."

What is the result of such an encounter? The closing picture is shown of Jacob walking in the sunrise limping. He is a new man with a new name. He has experienced freedom which is the potential for all who choose to visit Peniel the Place of Freedom.

Dr. Bewley
Senior Pastor
Grace Point Bristol