I sat in my car weeping, thinking I was a terrible failure. I had been unceremoniously dumped from a courtroom after I thought I was led by God to witness to seven teenaged murderers. I shudder to think of how much blessing I would have missed had I given up in that dark hour. How glad I am today that God taught me to face my failure and go on to His next steps for me.
I know two outstanding men of God—both of whom had ministered to thousands—who fell into the sin that David committed with Bathsheba. One minister decided that he could not go on and today he drinks and curses the Christ he once preached about. The other man repented and started all over. He now heads an international missions program that reaches thousands for Christ. His failure has been left behind and he keeps moving forward.
In my work with addicts and incorrigibles, I have observed that the majority of those who return to their old habits become stronger than all the others when they face their failures and return to the Lord. They have a special awareness of the power of Satan and a total rejection of confidence in the flesh.
When Adam sinned, he tried to hide from God. When Jonah refused to preach to Nineveh, his fear drove him into the ocean to flee from the presence of the Lord. When Peter denied Christ, he was afraid to face Him.
God has shown me a truth that has helped me many times: Something much worse than failure is the fear that goes with it. Adam, Jonah and Peter ran away from God not because they had lost their love for Him, but because they were afraid He was too angry with them to understand. Satan uses such fear to make people think there is no use trying.
If David had resigned himself to failure, we might never have heard of him again. Yet, he ran into the house of God, laid hold of the horns of the altar, found forgiveness and peace, and returned to his finest hour. And the same can be true for you!