I recently read an Advent devotional chronicling the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter one. The author*mentioned promise, failure and hope as he described how the individuals in the genealogy of Jesus exhibited the truth of these words. I was struck by the simple but profound truth of these three words as I processed their impact on my own story.
Promise. My (our) relationship with God is predicated on the truth that God keeps his promises. To Abraham, he said, “I will make you a great nation.” To David, he said, “I will establish an eternal throne.” To you and me he says, “I will be your God and you will be my people.” What an amazing promise! In essence God says to you and me that we matter; we are loved and we belong.
Failure. How often I struggle with failure. I fail to do or say the right thing in the way I relate to others. I fail to obey God’s word more times than I want to admit. And, if I’m honest, I can often speak lies to myself that cause me to believe I really am a failure.
Hope. But then I am reminded of the hope that I have in Jesus. He gave his life so that His promises can be a reality in my life. He sees past my failures and reminds me that there is hope even in the darkest of times.
As I continued to reflect on the connection between these three words, I suddenly saw that Promise and Hope were the bookends to Failure. My failure was safeguarded by Promise and Hope, both of which are not my responsibility. God offers me Promise and Hope as he writes my story in his story. My Failure is redeemed by his sovereign grace and mercy, and is ultimately wrapped in his love.
There is a message in these words for you and for me. I can’t let my failures overtake me. Instead I need to let them be lifechanging as I remember that they are transformed by the promise and hope of God.
Promise. Failure. Hope. Read these words through the eyes of a loving God who transforms our story for His glory.
(*Douglas Finkbeiner. 31 Day Advent Devotional. Lancaster Bible College. 2018)